RUNNING ON EMPTY

Pakistan’s Water Crisis

Edited by
Michael Kugelman and Robert M. Hathaway

RUNNING ON EMPTY
Pakistan’s Water Crisis

Edited by Michael Kugelman Robert M. Hathaway

RUNNING ON EMPTY
Pakistan’s Water Crisis

Essays by: Samia Altaf Kaiser Bengali Anita Chaudhry and Rabia M. Chaudhry Adrien Couton Sarah J. Halvorson Simi Kamal Feisal Khan Shams ul Mulk James L. Wescoat Jr.

Edited by: M ichael Kugelman Robert M. Hathaway

©2009 Woodrow Wilson Inter national Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C. ww w.wilsoncenter.org

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and the Relentless Struggle for Sust ainability Shams ul Mulk Water.Contents Introduction Michael Kugelman Pakistan’s Water Challenges: Entitlement. Governance. the Indus River System and its Development Infrastructure. Access. and Corruption in Pakistan Feisal Khan Intersections of Water and Gender in Rural Pakistan Sarah J. Efficiency. and Equity Simi Kamal Water Management under Constraints: The Need for a Paradigm Shift Kaiser Beng ali 45 28 5 Pakistan’s Water Economy. Halvorson Tackling the Water Crisis in Pakistan: What Entrepreneurial Approaches Can Add Adrien Couton 105 82 64 118 | 1| .

and Pakistan: Why We Are Not There Yet Samia Altaf Recent Asia Program Publications 176 Information About Woodrow Wilson Center Pakistan Scholar Program 129 169 18 0 | 2| . Chaudhry Public Health. Clean Water. Wescoat Jr.Water Shortages and Water-Conserving Urban Design in Pakistan James L. Securing Sustainable Access to Safe 153 Drinking Water in Lahore Anita Chaudhry and Rabia M.

Glossary ACOAg ricultural Census Organization (Pakistan) bcm Billion cubic meters cusecs Cubic feet per second EPA Environmental Protection Agency (Pakistan) FBS GDP ha Hectares IBPIndus Basin Project I IDEI nternational Development Enterprises India IMFInternational Monetary Fund IRBIndus River Basin IRSA Indus River System Authority KmKilometer KPTKarachi Port Trust KWPKarachi Water Partnership KW&SBKarachi Water and Sewage Board LBODLeft Bank Outfall Drain lpcd MDG MGD Liters per capita pre day Millennium Development Goal Million-gallons per day MAFMillion acre feet Federal Bureau of Statistics (Pakistan) Gross domestic product GLOFGlacial lake outburst flooding Mgl Milligrams per liter | 3| .

MSL MW O& M Mean sea level Megawatt Operations and maintenance NWFP Northwest Frontier Province OPP Orangi Pilot Project (Pakistan) PCRWRPakistan Council of Research in Water Resources Rs. Rupees (Pakistan) SACOSAN South Asia Conference on Sanitation SAWUN South Asian Water Utilities Network SCARP Salinity Control and Reclamation Project TRDP Thardeep Rural Development Program (Pakistan) URC Urban Resources Centre (Pakistan) USAID United States Agency for International Development WAPDAWater and Power Development Authority (Pakistan) WASA Water and Sanitation Authority (Lahore) WHO World Health Organization WWFWorld Wildlife Fund | 4| .

Michael Kugelman is program associate with the Asia Pro gram at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.000 cubic meters (m 3 ) per capita in the early 1950s to less than 1. According to 2008 data from the Food and Ag riculture Organization. if not earlier.000 m 3 per capita) by 2035. | 5| . 3 W SOAKED. “present the greatest f uture threat to the viability of Pakistan as a state and a society.Introduction M c h a e Ku g e l M a n i l “ ater shortages. one can hardly dispute its underlying premise: Pakistan’s water situation is extremely precarious. As a result. AND DRY Today. vast expanses of the nation’s rich ag ricultural lands are too wet or salty to y ield any meaning ful harvests. at least 90 percent of Pakistan’s dwindling water resources are allocated to irrigation and other agricultural needs. DIRTY. intensive irrigation reg imes and poor drainage practices have caused waterlogging and soil salinity throughout Pakistan’s countryside.” 1 While this assertion may be overblown. SALTY. Water availability has plummeted f rom about 5. akistan is expected to become waterscarce (the designation of a country with annual water availability below 1. Pakistan’s total water availabi lity per capita ranks dead last in a list of 26 Asian coun2P tries and the United States. given that Pakistan is an overwhelmingly arid country with an agriculture-dependent economy.” warns the South Asia scholar Anatol Lieven. though some experts project this may happen as soon as 2020. This is not entirely surprising. however.500 m 3 per capita today. where he focuses on Sou th and Southeast Asia. Unfortunately.

particularly those of fishermen—who are now forced to gather firewood for a living and to buy their water (at high cost) from trucks. One Pakistani environmentalist has lamented how the Indus Delta is suffering throug h “severe deg radation. Consequently. These newly displaced Pakistanis. displacing more than two million people—the largest exodus of Pakistanis since Partition in 1947. downstream in Sindh. it is safe to say that anywhere from around 40 to 55 million Pakistanis— about a quarter to a third of the country’s total population—do not have access to safe drinking water.” sparking “coastal poverty. large volumes of water from the Indus River have been diverted upstream to Punjab Province to satisf y soaring demand for ag riculture and for consumption in cities. some of the water crisis’s starkest manifestations can be found in the parched regions of Sindh Province. and in some areas shriveled up to little more than a puddle. As the country’s population has surged. Nationwide. these numbers seem likely to grow. 4 Nonetheless. In the spring of 2009. hopelessness. the once-mig hty Indus has shrunk to a canal. suggest that up to three million internally displaced Pakistanis could be without water and sanitation—and. water is contaminated and waterborne disease is rife. Additionally. and destroy ing entire ecosystems. and despair. with no end to the fighting in sight as of mid-2009. 630 children die each day from the wat erborne illness of diarrhea.” causing great damage to the delta’s mangroves. In much of urban Pakist an. rural laborers are flocking | 6| . Though estimates vary. in southern Pakistan. The river’s disappearance throughout much of Sindh has snuf fed out livelihoods throug hout the river delta.Michael Kugelman With the lion’s share of Pakistan’s limited water supplies dedicated to ag riculture. combined w ith the hundreds of thousands uprooted earlier by war and violence in the countr y’s northwest. 5 WIDENING WATER WOES Several dramatic demog raphic shifts are intensify ing Pakistan’s already-rampant water insecurity. Pakistan’s military launched a f ull-scale assault against the Taliban in the Swat Valley. many Pakistanis lack t hese serv ices. Predictably. less than 10 percent is left for drinking water and sanit ation.

This rapid melting pattern—coupled w ith another consequence of g lobal warming. will undoubtedly worsen before it abates. 6 Troubling questions have arisen about where the water will come from to support these ag riculture-intensive. few—if any—areas of the world are suffering from the effects of climate change as much as this legendary mountain reg ion.” Perhaps the most powerful accelerant of Pakistan’s water crisis is global warming.Introduction to Pakistan’s overcrowded and water-short cities. because of g lobal warming. public health. especially in lower Sindh. Once the glaciers have melted. has implications for livelihoods. where they have lost their jobs due to the global financial crisis. large-scale farming schemes. 2008. Such mig rator y flows—both within and into the country—further threaten the countr y’s stretched-to-the-limit national water supply. it means an exacerbation of the “already serious problems” of flooding and poor drainag e in the Indus Basin over the next 50 years. On November 20. many of them seeking jobs that water shortages have eliminated back home. the country has witnessed the return of large numbers of its expatriates from the Middle East.5 million hectares) to foreig n investors for crop cultivation—a decision it made one year after allegedly sig ning away more than 320. with assistance from the Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program and | 7| . And finally. However. In essence. Pakistan’s water crisis af fects both the country’s vital ag ricultural sector and its booming cities. Pakistan’s water resources can 7 hardly sustain intensive farming on the scale being planned. and. river flows are expected to decrease dramatically. and the environment. the country’s water shortage “is making farming. hig h-intensity precipitation—is expected to agg ravate river flooding. followed by up to a “terrify8 ing” 30-40 percent drop in river flows in 100 years’ time. a precarious occupation. the Woodrow Wi lson Center’s Asia Program.000 hectares of land to the United Arab Emirates. What does this entail for Pakistan? According to the World Bank. Many of its glaciers are already thinning by up to a meter per year. Islamabad announced in April 2009 that it would make available six million acres of farmland (almost 2. As one Pakistani observer points out. The Indus River Basin—Pakistan’s chief water source—obtains its water stocks f rom the snows and rains of the western Himalayas. Meanwhile.

the Hisaar Foundation’s Simi Kamal provides an over view of Pakistan’s water challenges. (WaterAid has concluded that Islamabad spends a whoppi ng 47 times more on military budgets than on water and sanitation. along with one additional contribution.Michael Kugelman Comparative Urban Studies Project.6 billion. not water use.” She references the D iamer-Bhasha Dam project.2 percent of g ross domestic product. abysmal urban sanitation f acilities.) By contrast. “The national discourse. environmental sustainability. Islamabad’s Annual Development Plans earmark 40 to 50 percent of expenditures to water resources development—which includes the building of dams. These include agriculturally inefficient irrigation (“Pakistan is using 97 percent of its allocated water resources to support one of the lowest productivities in the world per unit of water”). to examine the rural and urban di mensions of the crisis.” she w rites. which was approved in November 2008 at an estimated cost of $12. and | 8| . Pakistan’s water crisis is as much a “social construct” resulting from inefficiency and “entitlements for the few” as it is a simple case of water shortages.” THE DEBATE ON DAMS Kamal questions the way Islamabad prioritizes and allocates its water expenditures.” Consequently. She posits that the “three Es” of economic efficiency. and to consider possible responses. and with financial support from the Fellowship Fund for Pakistan. Kamal writes. She calculates that the resources dedicated to water supply and sanitation equal less than 0. land ownership. As a result. Another obstacle is a lack of water laws to define water rights. In the fi rst essay. and equity of fer a useful framework “to reorient water demand and improve water manag ement. This volume comprises the eig ht papers presented at that event. has become a “proxy” for water rights—and therefore the rights to water of landless people (especially farmers and women) are “ill-defi ned. “continues to be on the need for highly costly investments for the construction of dams. and catastrophic environmental damage (she bemoans the “destruction” of the Indus Delta). convened a full-day conference to highlight the different facets of Pakistan’s water crisis.

He describes the Sukkur Barrage (completed in 1932). or constraints. “turned arid lands into green acres. It must shift away f rom largescale capital. however. Mulk. maintenance. The traditional paradig m. and investments. a former chair of Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA). is overwhelmingly “technocentric” and emphasizes engineering solutions and water storage. he observes. a Pakistanbased economist. He traces the history of irrigation development in the Indus Basin. Bengali asserts. environmentally degrading solutions to a manag ement-intensive. warns that Pakistan cannot address its water crisis without a “paradig m shift” in the way Pakistanis think about water management.” However.” and “technical and scientific knowledge” is deployed “to harness it to its fullest capacity. of fers a spirited defense of Pakistan’s development of the Indus River system. These constraints. both in water supply and in the funds required for operation. “The strateg y of putting up dam structures when the downstream distribution structure is so inef ficient needs rethinking. illustrate the need for a new “sociocentric” strategy that places g reater reliance on indigenous physical and human resource management and is more “resource-ef ficient and ecologically conducive. Bengali only briefly references the merits of the technocentric paradigm. This emphasis on dams and other storag e-generating eng ineering projects is the subject of Kaiser Bengali ’s essay. which was built to serve seven | 9| . which suffer from poor transmission and seepage.” she concludes. Kamal. in earlier times. Bengali.” What does this mean in practice? Pakistan must move f rom “a fetish” with the expansion of water supplies through water storag e (such as dams) to a new emphasis on the conservation of limited water resources. observing how it has. She argues that much more water—76 M AF—would be freed up simply by properly repairing and maintaining Pakistan’s existing canal systems. Water is treated as “a mere raw material. is an unabashed champion of this water management model. with emphasis on the “landmark period” of the 20th century.Introduction is projected to generate more than eig ht million acre feet (MAF) of water when it becomes operational in 2016.and technology-intensive. he argues that this approach is increasing ly unsustainable because of shortfalls.” Shams ul Mulk . ecolog ically balanced approach that relies on indigenous technolog y. conversely. is not impressed.

Mulk does not address the fact that hydroelectric development invariably displaces riparian communities. According | 10 | .” he writes.0Meanwhile. a malfunctioning tunnel gate caused major damage to the dam.” Mulk acknowledges the waterlogging and salinity problems spawned by this vast sy stem. and cultivated and irrigated land—is “the world’s largest integrated. and the environmental risks and other dan9 gers of dams are well-documented elsewhere. Kamal. providing Pakistan with agricultural water supplies and affordable power. Such unqualified support for large hydro facilities is controversial.Furthermore. However. Mulk also chronicles the proliferation of hydropower projects in the Indus Basin.Michael Kugelman canals and a cultivable area of 3. which provides about 54 percent of Pakistan’s total hydro capacity and has generated nearly 12 billion cubic meters of additional water for irrigation ever y year. he believes that the implementation of Salinity Control And Reclamation Projects—which combine groundwater and surf ace water extraction to increase irrigation. and the “major crisis” they had created by the time of Pakistan’s independence. Pakistan’s Indus Basin— with its dams. and others in this volume list the disadvantages of such structures (a chief one being their very high costs). he notes.” Today. He calculates that the percentag e of waterlogg ed land within the Indus Basin has dropped f rom nearly 40 percent in 1960 to 12 percent in 2008. canals. When activated for the first time in 1974. and today “the miracle of Tarbela” lives on.000 people in the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) and in the Northern Areas1. barrages. everything was sw iftly repaired. from the Warsak Hydro Power Station on the Kabul River to the Mangla Dam. while saline land areas have fallen from over 50 to 25 percent during the same period. some observers argue that Pakistan’s larg e dams are simply ineffective. According to Mulk. Constructing this immense dam was “an undertaking of unprecedented size and technical complexity.16 million hectares—“an achievement unparalled in the world. however. thereby flushing salts below crop root zones—have produced “a clear improvement in the situation” today. contig uous irrigated system. Bengali. in Pakistan and elsewhere. Pakistan’s current minister for water and power has announced that the new Diamer-Bhasha Dam project will “affect” about 28. He lavishes praise on the “famous” Tarbela Dam.

poor governance. Not surprisingly in this environment of poor governance. and 11 now retains so little water that irrigation supplies are threatened. Tarbela Dam has lost nearly 30 percent of its storage capacity since the late 1970s. while provincial governments disagree w ith—and often ignore—the authority’s ruling s on water flow. Insufficient monies are spent on maintenance and repair. Khan contends that ef forts launched in the 1990s to improve water | 11 | . Khan describes how large landowners—in collaboration with provincial government of ficials—evade and exploit the rules of waraband.Introduction to a Dawn story on Pakistan’s irrigation problems. corruption—particularly g raft—runs rampant. such as sug ar. “Like the rest of the Pakistani government. government irrigation officials in the provinces of Punjab and Sindh are “horribly corrupt. And he has few kind words for the Indus River System Authority (IRSA).” According to one source with whom Khan has consulted. a body formed in 1992 to coordinate interprovincial water sharing across Pakistan.” and farmers freely admit to bribing them. characterizes this investment strateg y as “Build/Neglect/Rebuild”: Basic maintenance is “literally ignored” until the infrastructure “is teetering on collapse. “the water bureaucracy is notoriously corrupt. inefficient. Feisal K han of Hobart and William Smith Colleges describes how bad policies. THE WATER CRISIS IN PAKISTAN’S COUNTRYSIDE Several essays in this collection take a closer look at the water crisis in Pakistan’s rural areas.” Khan writes. and bloody lazy.” Another misguided policy is Pakistan’s “excessive cultivation” of water-intensive crops. IRSA’s operations are “disharmonious” and marked by bickering. The World Bank. One ill-advised policy has been “grossly inadequate infrastructure investment” in Pakistan’s irrigation sy stem. and corruption characterize water manag ement in the hinterland. which requires nearly seven times more water than is needed by wheat.i a rotational system used for the equitable allocation of irrigation water among farmers in Pakistan and northern India for more than 130 years. leading to neglect and underperformance. home to about two-thirds of the country’s total population. Khan writes. Bad governance occurs both within and between Pakistan’s four provinces.

Michael Kugelman management through decentralization have failed. Given these realities on the g round.” injects gender and water themes into public discourse. The challenges of securing water in parts of rural Pakistan have only grown since the 2005 Kashmir earthquake. an outcome that will require more centralization and “the reassertion of administrative control. Halvorson hig hlights some success stories. which operate in realms historically dominated by men. Pakistani women have been shut out of government waterplanning and decision-making processes. who s traces the links between water and gender in rural Pakistan. which displaced mountain residents and forced them into tent villages. This lack of women’s participation can in part be attributed to gender norms and “ideolog ies of seclusion” that restrict Pakistani women’s mobility and freedom. Halvorson . the health-related consequences of water scarcity in Pakistan—such as the high numbers of young children suffering from waterborne diseases—deeply affect women. “Water Stories.” Such a prospect bodes especially poorly for Pakistan’s rural women. He calls instead for improved “professional competence and integrity” in Pakistan’s irrigation bureaucracy. He points out how recent attempts by the International Monetary Fund to impose an ag ricultural tax in Pakistan—which could have generated millions of dollars in revenue to fund irrigation repairs—were soundly defeated by Pakistan’s powerful agricultural lobby. Traditionally.” However. The problem is compounded by abysmal women’s literacy rates—as low as 3 percent in certain areas—and poor access to education. access to water is of paramount importance for Pakistani women because they bear primary responsibilit y for obtaining water and completing waterrelated tasks. Women’s Issues. Halvorson views women’s involvement in rural water governance as essential. a radio prog ram. however. Furthermore. who are largely responsible for caring for sick family members as well as for themselves. Yet despite such constraints. According to the University of Montana’Sa rah J. he concludes that Pakistan’s water crisis “will surely worsen. The Punjab Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project encourages women’s participation in water-sector planning for low-income communities. Consequently. Halvorson writes. he is greatly skeptical about any prospects for reform. and Pakistan’s National Drinking Water Policy recognizes the need for women’s participation in water supply | 12 | .

the system enhances crop productivity. water-saving drip irrigation communicates a strong message that water is indeed scarce and precious in Pakistan. and provide litt le relief for smallholders.000-30. Without women’s participation in water governance or a recognition of women’s vital contributions to water-related work. According to Couton. His essay spotlig hts the Acumen Fund’s investments in drip irrigation. “Pakistan will remain a long way from reducing water vulnerabilities. Additionally. and less soil erosion. For example. MicroDrip.” meaning that—unlike in the case of a dam—investments can easily be distributed throughout different parts of the country and over time.000 Pakistani farmers over the next few years. Couton argues that drip irrigation of fers many advantages over conventional flood irrig ation. Adrien Couton of the Acumen Fund notes that the number of farms under t wo hectares in Pakist an has exploded from just over a million in the early 1970s to nearly four million in 2000. small farmers do as well. The Acumen Fund’s drip irrigation init iative in Pakist an is called MicroDrip—a joint venture wit h the Thardeep Rural Development Program.” While rural women pay a particularly heavy price for Pakistan’s water crisis. particularly for farmers cultivating crops in semi-arid reg ions. is expected to reach 20. Such examples. Additionally. these investments underscore the key role of market-based strategies in t ackling Pakistan’s water crisis. It also features benefits that he believes are especially attractive for policy makers. offer a way forward. including major water saving s. drip irrigation brings “massive increases” in water-use efficiency.Introduction management and acknowledges the “g ender differentiated needs” in the drinking water sector. she sug gests. Finally. Yet Couton laments how Islamabad’s water projects mainly benefit large and wealthy farmers. THE WATER CRISIS IN PAKISTAN’S CITIES One can make a strong argument that the locus of Pakistan’s water woes is in the countr y’s rural areas. he reports. where desperately needed water | 13 | . reduced labor. a low-cost system geared toward small farmers t hat conveys a modest but continuous supply of water to plants. a Sindh-based nonprofit organization. drip irrigation is “granular.

and more metals have been found in Karachi’s harbor than in any other major world harbor. Every year seemingly brings a litany of new research highlig hting the grim facts about water in Pakistan’s cities.” Little | 14 | . Meanwhile. ever y day. cattle pens. Pakistan’s largest city. and sewage in the Fuleli Canal—which supplies drinking 2 water to residents of Hyderaba1d. who is based in Karachi. slaughterhouses. of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. it has been estimated that more people in Karachi die each month f rom contaminated water than have been killed by India’s army since 1947. vary in social and natural terms. In 2006. Wescoat . and in different ways.In 2007. James L. points out that the countr y’s urban water systems operate in very different climates. Rawalpindi’s Water and Sanitation Agency announced that 64 percent of the city drinking water supply contained human waste and used water—and that 70 percent of the city’s water supply lines were carry ing sewage water to consumers. Yet Pakistan’s water crisis is also glaringly apparent in its teeming urban centers.000 Karachiites (of whom 20. is particularly disturbing. some urban areas are af fected more than others. the Pakistan Council for Scientific Research determined that more than two million people in Peshawar drink contaminated water. A major driver of these conditions is the paucity of urban wastewater treatment. Rivers flowing through the city contain lead. Kamal. While these problems ail all Pakistani cities. several million gallons of water are estimated to be lost every day due to leaking water conveyance inf rastructure. the World Bank estimated that only 3 out of 100 industries using hazardous chemicals in Lahore treat their wastewater adequately.Michael Kugelman for the crucially important ag ricultural sector is either wasted or running dry—and where water-related livelihoods are disappearing as quickly as the once-raging Indus River. Karachi’s ow n mayor has judged that 400 million gallons of sewage pour into the sea. untreated. chromium. Jr . Such hardships take a brutal and deadly toll on residents’ health. and serve different industrial economies “in different municipal and provincial institutional contexts. In fact. A 2006 study discovered “highly toxic run-off ” f rom plastics f actories. and cyanide. 13 The situation in Karachi. has previously estimated that at least 30.000 are chi ldren) perish each year from unsafe water. And in 2008.

water tables have already fallen by roughly five feet over the last five years in several parts of Lahore— and by up to 65 feet elsewhere in the city. The extraction of g roundwater. that one city may be suffering flood damages while another faces water shortages or waterborne disease. Wescoat is optimistic. and occurs “at the expense of future residents. brings only temporary improvements in water access..” Wescoat’s essay lays out some water-conser ving strategies that Pakistan’s cities can adopt to address their water challenges.” He also notes that Pakistan already boasts some of the world’s “most sophisticated” river basin management research. These include rainwater harvesting and the re-use of washwater (tactics already used in several Pakistani cities). Lahore’s g roundwater is frequently contaminated and very difficult to de-contaminate. the essential facts remain the same: Wescoat states that human drinking water requirements are estimated to be at least 50 liters per capita per day (lcpd). he believes.” Still. and urban plumbing codes. they note. Addressing these urban water problems will not be easy. most of which sits 300-600 feet below the surface. Chaudh ry of MWH Americas. according to Anita Chaudh ry of California State University-Chico and Rabia M. yet some of Pakistan’s poorest urban dwellers have access to only 10 lcpd—“and it is all polluted. realizes that the provision of basic water needs is fast becoming “a strict oblig ation of society and the state to all citizens. and w ill prove a particularly formidable challenge in Lahore—a city that relies exclusively on g roundwater for drinking water needs. | 15 | . According to the Chaudhrys. then.” an ecologically friendly way of treating wastewater—thoug h he concedes such projects necessitate coordinated water management that is “difficult to attain or sustain. and proposes that the great universities of Pakistan’s major cities take the lead in confronting Pakistan’s urban water shortages. To make matters worse. Pakistan. energy-conserving water sy stems (such as solar climatization systems). He also pushes for “advanced pond and lagoon treatment systems.” He asserts that the country “will find that there is sufficient f reshwater to fulfill this duty on a national scale.Introduction surprise.” In fact. Nonetheless. every sample from a 2006 study of groundwater quality in Lahore was found to contain arsenic beyond permissible levels. Inc.

however. meaning that those residents of Lahore dependent on public water supply— typically the poor—receive less water than wealthier residents with private pumps.Michael Kugelman Currently. For this reason. then “why have there been so few positive results?” According to Samia Alta f . Pakistan lacks a “strong political lobby” to advocate for clean water. and techni| 16 | . home filtration. The former water source is considerably cheaper than the latter. and given that the high costs of insufficient water supplies are wellknown. the answer is twofold.” So what is required to secure equitable and sustainable access to safe drinking water in Lahore? A first step is more information. useful. In 19th-century Europe. Altaf argues that successful public health crusades of t he recent past—such as t hose against cigaret te smoke or for seatbelts—have resulted in safety regulations. the Chaudhrys advocate a more intense focus on conservation and on the more ef ficient use of existing groundwater supplies.” Second. yields. and ot her technological advances. those still lacking water “rarely have a voice in the political systems of a country like Pakist an. the writers note. leg islation. Finally. they explain. and consistent information” on water quality. the rich enjoy clean water and no longer lobby for it. the wealthy—doctors and businesspersons—used to serve this purpose. and depletion rates must be g iven to water users and managers alike. Islamabad is never held account able for failing to provide clean water. First . How can these lessons of the past be applied to Pakistan’s present-day water crisis? Altaf outlines a strateg y incorporating both Pakistanis and the international donor communit y.” comprised of “people of credibility. st anding. Meanwhile. public water supply in the city is intermittent. She envisions the creation of “citizen g roups. Pakistanis must also be made aware of the relationships between irrigation water use in Punjab and declining water tables in Lahore. thanks to bott led water. Lahore households get water either from public supply ag encies or from privately installed groundwater pumps. “Reliable. This volume’s final essay poses a “decept ively simple quest ion”: g iven that Pakistan has the technology and money to produce clean water. a physician and public health specialist. However. Today. “It is the poor— especially poor women and children—who suffer the most from such public utility shortcomings. and other tools t hat ensure accountability. during the heyday of sanitation reform.

storage expansion.” ISLAMABAD’S RECORD Altaf wryly observes that Pakistan “can transport men. tents. water supply-enhancing structures.” To be f air. she insist s that doing so is “both possible and necessary. Back in 2006.” who can “educate” civil society on water issues. she avers. Islamabad has addressed the country’s water crisis. shoes. to be undertaken in three different phases and to be completed by 2025. she recommends that the donor community “lean heavily on the government in Islamabad to deliver result s. And Couton references a 2007 government initiative to bring drip irrigation to 300. Pakistan has also drafted a National D rinking Water Policy. envisions the construction of several dozen large water projects (including five dams. the nation “can transport water to the cities—if it wished to. and bullets to the top of a 20. according to many of this volume’s writers. three “mega-canals. launched in the early 2000s. Islamabad has essentially clung to the same limited set of policies.” Accountability. must be a part of any assistance package.000 acres of land (though he contends the project’s benefits w ill be limited to large. It has integrated water-related Millennium Development Goals into its national policies. wealthy farmers). 1 4 Unfortunately.” Surely. The government’s Planning Commission has called for a national program to monitor water quality and to enforce standards on the discharge of effluents into rivers and lakes. Representative of this mentality is WAPDA’s Vision 2025 plan. she concludes. and two drainag e projects). and who can institut e monitoring mechanisms and other accountability measures. some large water structures seem to exist purely for show. Nonetheless. Though she concedes that setting conditions will be unpopular among Pakistan’s political elite. and the trumpeting of other large.000-foot g lacier. expensive. Meanwhile. which Halvorson praises for its embrace of women’s roles and community participation. the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) unveiled a | 17 | . all of which reflect what Bengali calls the “technocentric” paradigm of water management: large dam construction. bread. blankets.Introduction cal expertise.” five hydropower facilities. This ambitious strategy.

there is also corruption.Michael Kugelman “fountain jet” of f the city’s harbor that was to spew water hundreds of feet up into the air—a height surpassed by few other fountains in the world. | 18 | . more controversial. “The draft water policy at its current stage. Kamal notes that the government’s National Water Policy is still in draft form. Many prominent Pakistani politicians are large landowners who benefit from the status quo. Pakistan’s water pressures are exacerbating the country’s rampant instability and volatile security situation. reason for the country’s static water policy could be Pakistan’s entrenched agricultural lobby. and have no desire “to push for a real overhaul of farming practices. What accounts for this seemingly singular emphasis on a “technocentric” water management strateg y? One possible explanation is that Islamabad lacks a true. “reads li ke a list of actions and has no real vision or comprehensive approach. and visions from different government ministries. WATER AND SECURITY While Islamabad dithers. frameworks.” she writes.” She adds that there is no national regulatory framework in Pakistan dealing with water use. In 2008. and observes that the country’s “water policy framework” consists of a hodgepodge of water strateg y plans. and validates Khan’s point that where there is water in Pakistan. Another. multifaceted water policy. while the city’s 15-million-strong population struggled below to obtain clean and affordable water. rendering the facility inoperable—and reports soon appeared in Pakistan’s media sug gesting the involvement of KPT officials.” 1 6The presence of this lobby may also help explain why the government spends such a disproportionate amount on irrigation and other ag ricultural uses of water. several fountain parts were stolen. This political jugg ernaut—a far dif ferent beast from what Altaf has in mind when writing of the need for a “strong political lobby” to promote the delivery of clean water—poses a major obstacle to the crafting of water policy reforms. The irony was rich: several thousand liters of water were to cascade high above the city. 1 5The bizarre story of this hapless superfountain i llustrates the extent to which Pakistan emphasizes largescale water production schemes.

While one could dismiss such statements as purely rhetorical and for domestic consumption.S.Introduction Farmers and fishermen are launching protests about their lost livelihoods. Meanwhile. The proposed Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act (known as the Kerry-Lugar bill). of suppressing the flow of water downstream to Pakistan. the Taliban was fi ngered as the likely perpetrator. the upper riparian state in the Indus River system. but also because it lies just 60 kilometers northwest of Tarbela Dam. In Pakistan’s turbulent northwest. Taliban forces in Swat have blown up electricity grids. “The water crisis in Pakistan is directly linked to relations w ith India. Pakistan regularly accuses India. The dam has been targeted before. Pakistani military officials began highlig hting India’s alleged violations of the Indus Waters Treaty—which stipulates how the various waters of the Indus River sy stem are to be divided between the two countries—and suggesting that water issues consti7C tute “a latent cause” of the ongoing conflict in Kash1miri. And the diversion of scarce riverwater upstream from dry Sindh to the more fertile Punjab is stoking ethnic tensions between Sindhis and Punjabis. president of Pakistan’s PML -Q party. including a deadly attack on an army base within the Tarbela premises in 2007. Soon after the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008. Failure to resolve the water i mbrog lio “could f uel the fires of discontent that lead to extremism and te r ro r ism1” . and that stabilizing the latter will require tackling the former.vilian of ficials make such insinuations as well: Shujaat Hussain. which President Barack Obama has promised to sign if passed by Congress.8 The U. identifies “access to potable water” as a shared “compatible g oal” be| 19 | .” he declared. the lower riparian state. it is notable that Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari voiced similar concerns in a Washington Post op-ed in Januar y 2009. government has recog nized that Pakistan’s economic and development challenges—including those of water—are linked to its combustible political and security situation. alarm bells sounded across the countr y in April 2009 when the Taliban pushed southeast of Swat into the Buner district of NWFP. This concern arose not just because of Buner’s close proximity to Islamabad. has warned that the two countries could go to war over water. Additionally. causing disruptions to area water supply.

and other W massive engineering projects have helped establish an extraordinary irrigat ion system. including irrigation channels and wells. More emphasis should also be placed on modest. and one that comes not just from foreign friends and f unders. 1. Some of the principal ones are listed here. but rather to provoke further discussion on the way forward. Rather. indigenous technology—such as drip irrigation. these structures can be expensive.5 bi llion in non-military assistance per year over a five-year period). Bigger is not always bet. funding. RECOMMENDATIONS Such prospective American aid. not for purposes of endorsement. environmentally unfriendly. funds toward Pakistan’s water infrastructure.Michael Kugelman tween “the people of Pakistan and the United States. but most importantly from Pakistanis themselves. and inefficient. Pakistan’s bloated water bureaucracy will require more central oversight over provincial irrig ation prog rams. particularly if unencumbered by conditionalities. | 20 | 2. Pakistan should boost investment in repairing and maint aining exist ing infrastruct ure in order to decrease water proflig acy—thereby lowering costs and safeguarding precious water supply. this funding would translate into an exceedingly modest contribution. given its small size (the bill would authorize only $1. . barrages. The essays in this volume offer a variety of recommendations—some of them controversial—to help g uide Pakistan’s response to its water crisis. Str ike appropriate balances between centralized and decentralized water man agementImproving ef ficiency and competence in . Instead of repeat edly building immense new structures that only create more water inefficiency. Nonetheless.ter hile dams. a comprehensive commitment is needed—one of time. and other resources. nor simply from Washington or the broader international donor community. Additionally.S.” The bill would appropriate U. would be welcomed by Islamabad. canals. Much more of a commitment will be required—and not merely one of money.

one centrally located public water utility may be more cost-ef fective and beneficial to the poor than several dif ferent faci lities dispersed throughout the city. Give more attention to water provision and distr ibution on local and individual leve. and such price spikes affect the incomes and livelihoods of the urban poor. Ag ricultural water shortages mean hig her food costs. Water allocations among Pakistanis are highly inequitable. pressures Growing urban drinking water demand contributes to the rapid depletion of wat er in Pakist an’s rural regions.Introduction in Pakistan’s cities. Meanwhi le. Karachi depends entirely on t he Indus River for it s drinking water supply. landowners have better-defined rig hts to water than do the landless. poorer farmers. many of whom are highly dependent on water. wealthy farmers receive more irrigation water than small. Tackling water short ages in Pakistan must not occur in a vacuum. The absence of laws on water rig hts means that. | 21 | 4. male laborers escape poverty in the count ryside by mig rat ing to cities—which adds to t he strain on urban water supplies and exacerbates the challenges rural women left at home face in their struggle to obtain water for their families. masks the troubling state of water distribution on the micro level. in cities. Meanwhile. while Lahore must compete with rural Punjab for dwindling groundwater resources. Understand the links between agr icultural and urban water. some of Pakistan’s best examples of successful water provision—such as those implemented by the Orangi Pilot P roject in Karachi—accentuate community participation and decentralized decision making. while richer homes can pay for more dependable private groundwater pumps. . 3. however. s Provincial water distribution has traditionl ally dominated debates about how Pakistan’s water supplies should be divided up. large. At the same time. This broader focus. Also. poor households must settle for sporadic public water utility supply. by default. rural and urban sources of the problem must be addressed collectively.

Michael Kugelman 5. to empower them to make wiser decisions about water use. Private investments serve as an alternative to the large. stakeholders—not just the governr ll ment or the privileged classes—must be involved in developing Pakistan’s water policy and in informing t he policy’s decisionmaking process. there are also straightforward steps Pakistanis can take to tackle the water crisis—all of which reflect the policy of conservation. e or all the weighty talk about necvF essary paradigm shifts. 7. It can work w ith local partners and the general population to develop environmentally friendly. Civil society should develop performance measures. Promote the involvement of the privat. publicly funded water-production facilities that predominate in Pakistan. conser. Demand more accountabilityakistanis and donors should P. Conserve. International f unders—whether national governments or international financial institutions—should build accountability measures into their assistance plans. Small farmers should collaborate w ith privat e investors and offer feedback on the merits of water-conserving technolog y. water-saving technolog y. use. pressure Islamabad for results. must be included. implement rigorous monitoring reg imes. and make clear that a failure to bring about i mprovements will have consequences. conserve. knowledge gaps about water must be eliminated—and this will ent ail the expansion of available information about water quality. Empower the citizenAy. and availabilit y.e Thctor rivate sector see p can play a key role in alleviating Pakistan’s water crisis. and t o enhance popular part icipation in effort s to tackle water challenges. affordable. and establish checks and balances. . To make Pakistanis better informed about water challenges. In part icular. women. as those most responsible for water-related work (especially in rural areas). Members of civil societ y should serve a public advocacy role. Farmers can adopt water| 22 | 6. 8.

Large dam projects are foreign-debt financed and have constituted the si ngle-largest allocation in Pakistan’s federal public investment budg et. Conserving can also bring relief to Pakistan’s strugg ling economy. and encourage production of wheat and other staples that require less water. launching information campaig ns about water. Sy stemic inequality pervades Pakistani society. Learn from the success . like sug ar. 9. there are also human-generated constraints that hamper attempts to resolve it. Agricultural planners can de-emphasize production of water-intensive crops. City planners and architects can implement water-conserving urban building desig n. Waterlogg ing and salinity. from the small elite who own the majority of cultivable land to ingrained prejudices against women.Introduction conserving ag ricultural technology. The benefits of conservation extend beyond saving water. renewable water sources. Additionally.taclehile the drivers of Pakistan’s Ws water crisis include natural factors (such as its highly arid climate). such efforts will ultimately fall short if the deeper. By contrast. structural impediments to reform remain unaddressed. 10. Similarly. water-conserving technologies such as drip irrigation are much cheaper and do not eat up monies needed to tackle Pakistan’s debts. intensify ing the production of less water-intensive crops—such as wheat—can reduce Pakistan’s g row ing dependence on wheat imports and alleviate the countr y’s balance of payments troubles. While promoting water conservation policies. And citizens can seek alternate. Conservation efforts—particularly in terms of individual water consumptions habits and water-saving | 23 | . Address the structural obs. toSies e prog ress is being made in s rom reducing the severity of Pakistan’s water crisis. and streng thening public water utilities are important. have decreased over the last few decades. entrenched political interests (such as powerful landowners and sugar industry lobbies) stand in the way of meaningf ul agricultural reform. whi le still prevalent. such as rainwater.

consider that (according to the fig ures in Mulk’s essay) the total storage capacity for the Indus River system’s reservoirs is about 19 bcm. Some recent government and media initiatives demonstrate an appreciation of the importance of societally inclusive water management models. Such fig ures convey a sense of how truly water-scarce Pakistan could be in just a few years. Time is of the essence. in the hope that they can be replicated elsewhere.espite the success stories.Michael Kugelman technologies—are being implemented in some parts of the countr y. the 100 bcm gap wi ll comprise almost two thirds of the entire Indus River system’s current annual average flow. Pakistan’s total water avai lability will have barely changed from the current availabi lity of 236 billion cubic meters (bcm). some will immediately insist on the need to expand the production of more dams and reservoirs (and in | 24 | . Pa k ista n’s d water crisis is still very much a crisis and shows no signs of easing—particularly as the country’s population continues to rise and as global warming melts away the ice and snow of the Himalayas. These examples should be publicized and analyzed f urther. 11. And they underscore the need for immediate action. Yet Pakistan’s total water demand in 2025 is projected to be about 338 bcm—sug gesting a g ap of 100 bcm. 1 9 To put this projected shortfall in perspective. Pakistan’s water shortfall could be five times the amount of water that can presently be stored throughout the vast system’s reservoirs. Confronted with this data. In fact. PAKISTAN’S WATER FUTURE: SPECULATING ABOUT 2025 What mig ht lie in store for Pakistan down the road if it fails to act now? D ata projecting Pakistan’s water needs in the year 2025 tell a sobering story. This suggests that by 2025. and now is the time to act. By that year. hastening the eventual drying up of the Indus sy stem. Immediate action is requireD. according to one study.

Separately. As always. her efficiency and dilig ence were top-notch. for example. and Mishka Zaman. Daanish Mustafa. while Pakistan’s water crisis does not presently threaten the viability of the Pakist ani state.Introduction fact WAPDA’s Vision 2025 plan is already working toward this goal). the editors thank the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program (particularly former staffer Karin Bencala) and Comparative Urban Studies Project (particularly current staf fer Lauren Herzer). a Karachi-based charitable foundation. Perhaps the most workable solution lies somewhere in the middle—one. the health and livelihoods of the population. Rather. FFFP’s chairman. as well as the other members of the FFFP board of trustees and advisory council. This initiative is generously supported by the Fellowship Fund for Pakistan (FFFP). We also thank the Asia Program’s Merium Haq for her editing assistance. Neither this volume nor the November 2008 conference that preceded it could have been undertaken without the invaluable assistance and support of a number of key people. this is not the place to declare which solution is correct. of the Wilson Center’s Asia Program. Both strategies have been described and advocated in these pages. it is undeniable that so long as the crisis rages on. this volume seeks only to present the scope of Pakistan’s water challenges. The editors of this volume are ver y grateful to Munawar Noorani. Others offering usef ul advice and counsel during the planning stages of the conference include Ruth Meinzen-Dick. | 25 | . that embraces smaller dams that displace fewer people and are easier to maintain. Ultimately. was uniquely responsible for the logistical aspects of these projects. however. essential component s of this st ate—such as the vital ag ricultural economy. and we are deeply grateful to her. Sue Levenstein. Af ter all. and above all polit ical and economic stability—do lie very much in the balance. Others will just as emphatically arg ue the need to be more judicious with currently available water resources. and to offer multiple ways forward— before it is too late. as well as Wi lson Center Senior Scholars Shahid Javed Burki and William Milam. ****** This book marks the fif th report in a continuing series on Pakistani economic issues.

htm#8. July 20. The 630-per-day fi gure is also cited by USAID and var ious other aid and nongovernmental organizations. June 22. available from http://ww w. May 9. Asia’s Next Challenge: Securing the Region’s Water Futu. For more on the fate of Pakistani fi sher men in the Indus Delta. World Bank. available from http://www. “Resolving Environmental Conflicts in | 26 | . Apr il 2009.” Dawn . available fr om http://www. 4. Amena Bakr. 9. 2008. See Muhammad Qasim. se e Saleem H. These individuals graciously stole time from busy lives to draf t the essays that have made this volume possible. 2005.pk/thenews/jun2008-weekly/nos-22-06-2008/pol1.’’’ Daily Times. 34081-PK.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-librar y/dawn/ the-newspaper/columnists/16-irfan-husain-the-great-land-grab-959. see “Pakistan’s Water Crisis. NOTES 1.Michael Kugelman Finally. available from http://www.” T he News.newame.dawn. rica. 2008. Irfan Husain.thenews. “Pakistan Opens More Farmland to Foreigners. April 2009). 2009. World Bank.asp?id=125238. 7. Washington. 2009. 2007.net/publications/articles/2007/developmental_re alism_4876. and Joachim von Braun and Ruth Meinzen-Dick. International Food Polic y Research Institute. “Developmental Re alism.com.” IFPRI Policy Brief 13. asp?page=2009\01\15\story_15-1-2009_pg1_6. r adio broadcast of April 13. “The Great Land Grab. “Pakistan on Brink of ‘Water D isaster. Agr iculture . 2009. 8.” PRI ’s The World .com. Mustafa Talpur. available from http://www.dailytimes. They were always responsive to the editors’ sometimes-incessant questions and comments.” Dawn .” Harvard Law and Policy Review Januar y 17. 3.com/wps/wcm/connect/ dawn-content-library/dawn/news/business/11-pakistan-opens-more-farmland-to-foreigner s--07. 2009. and Rural Development Sector. the editors express thei r gratitude to this collection’s 10 authors.rReport by the e Leader sh ip Group on Water Secur ity in Asia (New York: Asia Society. For example. 6. 2. available from http://www. available fr om http://jang. and offered nothing but full cooperation and support. xi.pk/ daily_detail. DC. available from http://w ww. See I ftikhar Gilani. January 15. “A Sor ry Tale. Ali. Anatol Lieven with John Hulsman.pdf.dawn.com. “‘Land Grabbing’ by Foreign Investors in Developing Countr ies: Risks and Opportunities. November 22. 45.theworld. 5. May 18.pk/default. Pakistan Country Water Resources Assistance Strategy—Water Economy: Running Dry Report No.or g/ pubs/bp/bp013. South Asia Region.org/node/25692.ifpr i. “Twin Cities: Water -Borne Diseases on the Rise!” The News .

” PRI’s T he World. available from http://www.” Dawn.htm. “Partnering with Pakistan.com/wp-dyn/content/ article/2009/01/27/AR2009012702675.” Dawn . April 27. 19. 15.washingtonpost. “Hyderabad: How Clean is Our Drinking Water?” All Things Pakistanblog. November 5. 2008. Sher Baz Khan. 2009. November 12. Asif Ali Zardari.a sp?page=2009%5C03%5C07%5Cstor y_7-3-2009_pg7_41. Owais Mughal. Water Needs in South Asia: Closing the Demand-Supp ly GapHonolulu: Global Environment and Energy in ( the 21st Centur y. 2009. 2004). Imran Ayub. Ahmad Fraz Khan. available from http://ww w. a study by the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources has dete rmined that 95 percent of shallow groundwater supplies in Sindh are bacte riologic ally contaminated. available from http://ww w.dailytimes.com/2008/11/12/top1. such proble ms affec t rural areas as well. 2009. posted Febr uar y 18.wapda.” in Powering Pakistan: Meeting Pakistan’s Energy Needs in the 21st Century. Hathaway and Michael Kugelman (Kar achi: Oxford University Pre ss. March 7. e 8. See “Planning Commission to Tr ain Engineeers for WAPDA.asp.” Dawn . For a list of all the Vision 2025 projec ts and their locations. Asia’s Next Challenge: Securing the Region’s Water Futu. 13. “Pakistan’s Water Cr isis.pk/default.com. 2009). 79. 10.gov. “Wor se ning Irr igation Water Problems. Rober t M. January t 28. “Diamer-Bhasha Dam Project Gets Go-Ahead. available from http://www. 2009.” Washington Pos.com/2009/02/18/hyderabad-how-clean-is-our -dr inking-water/. available from http://www.html. | 27 | . com/2008/11/05/local4. available from http://pakistaniat. 17.com/wps/wcm/connect/ dawn-content-library/dawn/in-paper-magazine /economic-and-business/ worsening-irrigation-water-problems. Toufiq A.dawn. For example. “Kar achi: KPT Officials Summoned in Fountain Theft Probe.dawn.pk/vision2025/htmls_vision2025/watersector. 16. htm.” Daily Times. 14. Siddiqi and Shirin Tahir-Kheli.Introduction Pakistan’s Energy Policy. see http://www. 128-143. 2008.dawn. r1 18. 12. Wh ile common in cities. 11. eds.

3 According to a government source.However. and the generation of effluents. and ag ricultural needs. to deal with the disposal of salts and pollutants. Efficiency. and 74 million have no sanitation.700 m 3 in 1992 and became a water-short countr y. Access.090 3 per capita per year. Estimates from November 2008 show that Pakistan has a population of 165 million.000 mper capita per year of renewable supply) is expected in about 20354. and Equity S M Ka M a l i i akistan is faced with a growing population. water scarcity. a United Nations Development Prog ramme source g ives Pakistan’s current 5 water availability as 1.700 cubic meters per capita per year) around the year 2000. distribution inequalities. domestic.Pakistan’s Water Challenges: Entitlement. According to the World BankPakistan became a water-stressed country (1. system losses. 1 2. The country is strug gling to meet incremental demand for more irrigation water and to f ulfi ll environmental flow requirements. | 28 | . 98 mi llion rely on ag riculture. and to meet urban. 50 million do not have access to safe drinking water. loss of ecosystems. Water scarcity (1.500 min 2002. Pakistan reached 1. industrial. This is because m the terms “water shortage” and “water scarcity” are often used interchangeably—while both use the 1. “shortag e” is an absolute term and scarcity is a relative concept. and then declined further 3 3 to 1. a Stockholm-based think tank.000 m 3 per capita measurement as a benchmark. of which at least 41 million (25 percent) are below the poverty line. P Simi Kamal is chair of the Hisaar Foundation in Karachi and a member of the Global Water Partnership.

Pakistan’s Water Challenges: Entitlement, Access, Efficiency, and Equity

Scarcity can occur at di fferent levels of supply, depending upon demand and other circumstances—such as growing crops in agriculture-based countries or diversion to giant metropolitan areas. Scarcity in Pakistan may have its roots in water shortage, but it is also a social construct—a result of inefficiency, entitlements for the few (and the power that comes from this) and low access for the many. Water scarcity may be controlled by altering water-use behavior, modulating expectations, and introducing regulations. There are, therefore, remedies and options that can be considered and exercised. It is important to understand the factors other than population growth that are driving Pakistan toward water scarcity. Reductions in the ice and snow areas of the Himalayas mean a lower quantum of annual snowmelts and, therefore, reduced water in the Indus River sy stem. The decline in freshwater additions to surface water bodies has rendered them too saline and polluted for drinking and ag ricultural purposes. Reduced holding capacity and more rapid runoff (when normal rains and snowfall return) lead to floods and lower reserves of water for drinking and agriculture. The drying up of the Indus Delta has led to losses in the coastal ecosystem and sea intrusion is up to 225 kilometers. 6 While the realities of water availability, water reg ime, climate, and delta conditions have changed, the ways of using water have not. This has resulted in larg e- scale deg radation of the resource base. Thirtyeight percent of Pakistan’s irrigated lands are waterlog ged and 14 percent are saline; there is now saline water intrusion into mined aquifers. There has been a denudation of rangelands and watersheds, a depletion of forest cover and veg etation, a decline in the water table in Baluchistan to alarming levels, and a drastic reduction of sweetwater (f resh drinking water) pockets in the Lower Indus Basin. It is now accepted among many water sector practitioners and professionals in Pakistan that the Indus Basin irrigation system is vulnerable, that greater flexibi lity is required in the way water systems are envisaged and used, and that there is an urg ent need for trust- building among water users and the institutions that control water. The country as a whole has been engaged in protracted debate over the provincial division of water. Yet this division hides the more critical distribution—the various uses of water. Irrigation and agricul| 29 |

Simi Kamal

7 ture use up 97 percent of Pakistan’s allocated surface water resources, while only 3 percent is left for all other uses, including drinking water for 165 mi llion people, supplies for municipal and industrial uses, and sanitation. In fact, expenditures on water supply and sanitation are typically less than 0.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP ).This low figure is stri king given that Annual Development Plans show expenditures of approximately 40-50 percent on water resources development. 8 Apparently, funding priorities lie with water development, and not water supply and sanitation. The policies, arg uments, institutions, and processes that influence access, entitlement, and control over water resources are crucial in determining equity and ef ficiency. This paper questions the arguments that have defended the status quo in the water sector and calls for radical re-examination.

IRRIGATION IN FRASTRUCTURE AND (IN)EFFICIENCY
Ninety-two percent of Pakistan’s land area is arid or semi-arid, and cannot be productive without irrig ation. The Indus Plain covers about 25 percent of Pakistan’s total land area, and 65 percent of Pakistan’s population is directly supported by the irrigated ag riculture taking place in this area. This irrigated area, which is about 80 percent of the countr y’s total cultivated area, produces 90 percent of Pakistan’s food and fiber requirements. About 25 percent of Pakistan’s GDP comes from agriculture. Under the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960, Pakistan is entitled to almost all the waters of the three western rivers of the Indus system (Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab), while India enjoys use of the remaining tributaries. The average (for the years 1975-2000) rim station inflow (that is, the inflow measurement established at the rim of the river tributaries) of the Indus River and its tributaries is calculated to be approximately 154 million acre feet (MAF) per year, of which 144.9 MAF is available to Pakistan. 9 Another source puts this availability at 140 MAF. 1 0 However, the inflow of water varies drastically from year to year. The Water Accord of 1991 (an agreement reached between Pakistan’s four provinces on how to share the waters of the Indus River) is based
| 30 |

Pakistan’s Water Challenges: Entitlement, Access, Efficiency, and Equity

on 114.35 M AF per year (plus a 3 MAF estimate for ungauged civil canals, making a total of about 117 MAF). Punjab gets the bulk at 1 1A 55.94 MAF, while Sindh g ets 48.76 MAF.ny supplies over and above this amount are to be distributed on the basis of a predefined formula among the four provinces, w ith Sindh and Punjab getting equal shares at 37 percent. The remaining water from the average rim station flow (154 MAF-114.35 MAF) is estimated at nearly 40 MAF and often desig nated as “outflow to sea below Ko12 i,” t actually tr bu includes ungauged canals as well as withdrawals through other smallscale dams and schemes and river losses. The matter of environmental flows (which refer to the amount of water needed in a watercourse to maintain a healthy, natural ecosystem) for the downstream and delta of the Indus is mentioned in the Water Accord at 10 MAF as a demand of Sindh, 13 but these flows have not yet been finalized or included. In recent years, the annual supply of 114.35 MAF as designated by the Accord has not materialized, and is in fact usually lower. Let us then beg in where the bulk of Pakistan’s water use lies in terms of the Water Accord. Of the total 114.35 MAF surface water available annually for various uses, 97 percent is earmarked for irrigation to support agriculture. 1 4For more than a century, the Indus River irrigation system has been controlled by the construction of dams, weirs, and barrag es to feed an extensive canal system that commands 34 million acres for irrigation and is the world’s larg est contig uous irrigation system. The storage capacity of this sy stem, however, is very low at only 3 150 m per capita per year and only 30 days of supply. Meanwhile, existing dams are silting rapidly; both Mangla and Tarbela have lost about 25 percent of their capacity. The canals are not full year round and work on rotation. More importantly, there is no additional water that can be mobilized over and above what is currently used. Water losses between canal heads and watercourses, and losses within water courses, are generally accepted to equal one-third of the total amount of water delivered. 1 5Another 25 percent is lost within the farms. In the context of water infrastructure, there are heavy costs for operation, maintenance and repair (including costs for simple manual drinking water sy stems), and rehabilitation, but it has so f ar been quite impossible in Pakistan to make irrigation users pay for water. A recent
| 31 |

S. participation and user management have delivered few results so far.1 MAF will actually get to the farm-gate? The need for dams is arg ued on four main points: more water for irrigation and agriculture. middle. One reason is the persistent inequalities in water distribution to head.13 ki lograms per cubic meter. more flood control. generate 45. this looks like good news. this dam was officially approved at a cost of U. that project seems to have been shelved for the moment. and excess manpower costs. and U. 1 6 In order to improve water charge collection from users. Poor management and distribution of irrigation water also means that only 45 percent of cultivable land is under cultivation at any given time. In the second week of November 2008.S. but the D iamer-Bhasha Dam has now reared its head. according to of ficial sources. more storage capacity. The debate is f ramed such that dams have become a protracted and controversial issue between Punjab and the other three provinces. and tail areas of water channels.S. Pakistan’s crop productivity per unit of water is very low at 0. and no one pays for replacements. these days of severe electricity shortages. $600 million 8 n annually in the form of water for irrig at1ioIn.000 MW of electricity. However. But few people are asking a crucial question: how much of the 8. while Pakistani taxpayers pay the rest of these costs plus the interest.5 billion annually in the form of hydropower. maintenance.Simi Kamal World Bank study shows that users pay a very small percentage of operation. and more hydroelectric power.1 7What this means is that Pakistan is using 97 percent of its allocated water resources to support one of the lowest productivities in the world per unit of water. Dams The national discourse continues to be on the need for highly costly investments for the construction of dams.1 MAF. $12. and. This reality does not seem to have sunk in and does not feature in the water discourse of the country. Given the objections of Sindh to Kalabagh Dam. $1.6 billion. community-based approaches have been tried in some areas. If the objective is to meet future water | 32 | . The dam wi ll be ready by 2016 w ith a capacity to store 8. benefit Pakistan to the tune of U. and may indeed be a benefit.

by the government’s own account. Diamer-Bhasha is projected to produce 8. and Equity requirements in a way that promotes food security and meets the various uses of water in the context of a g row ing population. it would be over 19 MAF—more than double of what Diamer-Bhasa will produce. two thirds (5.known disadvantages of big dams is that they accentuate flood peaks (that is. Because of the preoccupation with the canal irrigation system. much of the flooding in the Indus Basin occurs because levees upstream f rom barrages are breached to protect the barrages.7 M AF w ill reach the farms. Currently. Efficiency. two-thirds (approximately 76 MAF) is lost due to poor transmission and seepage in the canal system. In calling for more water for ag riculture. The needs of lean years could then be met throug h this source. Thus. and only 2. the highest elevations reached by flood waters during a flood). Access. there needs to be an objective picture of what is happening to the 114 MAF of sweetwater currently diverted for use in agriculture and other uses. Large reservoirs are ostensibly needed to carry over water from wet months to dry months and from wet years to dry years. and very little ef fort to develop non-flood methods of cultivation. In any case. and to offset the storage capacity loss in existing dams due to silting.1 MAF. If we look at the flood control and mitigation arg ument for dams. Of this. a more efficient and maintained distribution system would lead to substantive savings in the total amount of water lost in transmission and thus f ree at least a reasonable proportion of this water for storage. It would make more sense to improve the strength of barrages in this context. the strategy of putting up dam structures when the downstream distribution structure is so inef ficient needs rethinking. one of the well. including the entire province of Baluchistan. then let us look at each one of these arguments more closely. if the canal sy stem can be repaired and maintained. However.4 MAF) will be lost in the delivery sy stem. there has been much neglect of rain-fed and non-irrigated arid zones.Pakistan’s Water Challenges: Entitlement. This means that about 76 MAF is potentially usable water. However. While the world has plentiful examples of dry-land agriculture based on micro-irrigation methods and crop-per-drop technologies (not all of which require heavy doses | 33 | . if a quarter of the lost 76 M AF in the irrigation system is saved throug h better repair and maintenance.

Large areas of the Lower Indus Basin are underlain with groundwater of poor saline qualit y. fresh groundwater can be found at a depth of 20-50 meters. especially in the Upper Indus Plain. Groundwater now accounts for half of all farm irrigation requirements.000 tubewells in the Indus Basin area. Groundwater quality and quantity is going down fast in and around cities and towns in some part s of t he count ry (Baluchistan. Over the past 40 years. Close t o the edges of the irrigated lands. it is supplementing the 34 MAF of surface water that reaches farmland. Indiscriminate pumping and the heavy use of pesticides have result ed in contamination of the aquifer at many places where the salinity of tubewell water has increased. In and around the city of Quetta. especially because it has enhanced access of both big and small farmers to what is seen as additional water for irrig ation. This conjunctive use of surface and groundwater has been hailed as a giant step forward in some quarters. Groundwater and Conjunctive Use The Indus Basin has fresh groundwater reserves of about 55 M1 9 F. There are presently more than 500. where groundwater quality is good. A most of them in Punjab. there are now clear indications of aquifer mining (which occurs when too much water is pumped from aquifers).Simi Kamal of electricity). Thar. Groundwater has become a major supplement to canal supplies.0 00 mil l igra ms per l iter. o r mg/l tot al diss olved so l id s [ TDS] ) near th e major rivers to hig hly saline further away.000 mg /l TDS. | 34 | . The quality of groundwater ranges from fresh (salinity less than 1. Kacho. and parts of Northwest Frontier Prov ince) where groundwater is the only or major source of water for all uses. The general distribution of groundwater in the country is well-known and mapped. in other words. while the unchecked exploitation of groundwater has broug ht many economic results. as it influences options for irrig ation and drinking water supplies. but wit h lenses of sweetwater on top. with salinity more than 3. Potohar. the politics of water in Pakistan are still built around access to river water for traditional methods of irrig ation that do not disturb the status quo of feudal land relations. the mining of g roundwater has reached a point where predictions are being made that t he aquifer will be lost in 5-10 years.

The historical flow of water into the delta region was over 170 MAF per year. and maintained a balance between seawater and f reshwater in the tidal zones. Today. however.6 mi llion to 0. the delta has only 0. the most devastating consequence of the system inefficiency of the Indus waters has been the destruction of the Indus Delta. of sweet g roundwater0 In all other areas. an integrated approach is required for the “conjunctive” conservation of surface and g roundwater. these are not released in a consistent way each year. and this inconsistency is justified on the grounds that there is an “average” over time (when flood flows even out the dry years). The sixth biggest mangrove forest in the world has been reduced from 0. strict groundwater monitoring and reg ulation are required as soon as possible. is a regular. What is needed. controlled minimum flow each year. Efficiency. This quantum kept the 17 main creeks 21 and a multitude of minor creeks active. Environmental Repercussions of System Inef ficiency In addition to waterlogging and salinity.70 MAF per year. The drying up of the Indus River downstream from Kotri Barrage has permanently damaged the ecosystem and affected livelihoods. Although the 1991 Water Accord recog nizes a fixed quantum of environmental flows (39. 2 2 limiting the access of local inhabitants to sweetwater sources and making them the direct victims of infrastructure—in terms of both irrigation and drainage. and Equity Since much of the groundwater recharge in the Indus Basin is from canal seepage. which have increased the danger and damage of tidal action and seawater intrusion. The damage was so severe that the World Bank (the principal f under of the drainage projects) had to call on its inspection panel in response to widespread protests by both government and local people. Access.50 to 0. | 35 | .25 million acres. The problem in the coastal regions of Sindh has been compounded by ill-fated drainage projects designed to remove saline water from irrigated lands. There are some areas where new technolog ies may be needed for skimming shallow lenses 2.Pakistan’s Water Challenges: Entitlement.5 MAF per year). to be g uaranteed throug h strict regulation and implementation.

This imposes a huge financial burden. low water pressure and the limited period of water supply in pipes meant for 24-hour supply have resulted in cross-contamination f rom sewers. the emphasis in urban areas is also on supply. while others (mostly women and children) have to queue | 36 | . Of the supply. Despite significant efforts to provide a continued gradual improvement in the percentage of people with water connections. but recovers only Rs. 2 billion—12.000) annually.3 And even where a distribution sy stem is present. making it hard to govern and deliver. overloaded w ith excess staff. or MGD ) is well in excess of the supply (547 MGD ). But there is no more water to be mobilized f rom the Indus or Hub river sources.Simi Kamal URBAN WATER INFRASTRUCTURE AND SEWERAGE SYST EMS Already about half the population of the province of Sindh lives in urban areas. The Karachi Water and Sewage Board (KW&SB) is the only government utility responsible for supplying water and treating sewag e for the entire population of Karachi. and KW&SB is unable to pay its electricity bills or keep the sy stem in better repair. Because water charges are so low. As in the case of ag ricultural water. fines. KW&SB is supposed to generate Rs. or cit izens’ act ion. Currently.000. endangering water quality. currently estimated at 16 million. realistic charges for the conveyance of water. The water scenario in Karachi is an example of the problems associated with urban water.5 percent of the amount billed.side solut ions. $ 200. the total number of urban residents without adequate water supply is actually increasing.S. the water demand of the city (680 million g allons per day. regulation. only 35-45 per2 cent of households are connected. and urbanization is on the rise throughout Pakistan. and litt le effort is made in t he direction of demand reduct ion for water through conservation. about 40 percent is lost throug h leakages and thef t. While most medium-size towns have a water supply system. figures show that because of population increases. At current population growth rates. those who get piped water feel free to waste and overuse. It is also the policy and regulation hub. 16 billion (U. Karachi will need a new scheme of 100 MGD every five years.

and of this amount only 90 MGD is being treated so fa r. Cit ies reg ularly experience riots because of the non-availabilit y of water. This environmental flow is a major source of contention between Punjab and Sindh. in spite of the lack of coherent positions on water in the manifestos of political parties. ENTITLEMENT. have fed many a political campaig n for decades. or polluter penalties. along with Kalabagh Dam. wit h the former calling for more water for irrigat ion and t he latter for an increase in environmental flow. 250. Efficiency.000 have sewerage facilities. and no thinking in terms of sewerage as a water resource. While t he accord defines a set percentage of water for downstream env ironmental flow. These protracted posit ions. less than 30 percent of wastewater is t reated. WATER DISTRIBUTION. Access. Of these five. In Pakistan. three are located in Karachi—and only t wo of t hese three are functional. 24 The environmental consequences are enormous. The total sewerage generated by Karachi is 315 MGD. the concepts of rig hts and entit lements are dominated by a disproportionate emphasis on and preoccupation with water distribution among provinces. value. and most of them live in urban areas. Inst ead. subsidies. Only 2 percent of urban areas with populations over 10. At present there are only five sewage treatment plants in all of Pakistan. Yet even in cities with treatment facilities. uses. While government has attempted to show that there is “equity” in provincial water distribution. principles of pricing. At present there is little public or government attention directed to the health and environmental consequences of poor drainage and sewerage. and Equity up for hours at public taps and privately supplied tankers to get a few containers of drinking water. currently modulated by the 1991 Water Accord. and venders supply water t o many areas at costs up to 12 t imes what regular customers pay. the mighty Indus River has no water downstream from Kot ri Barrage for 10 months of the year and the Indus Delta has effectively been destroyed. | 37 | . T he optimum designed capa city of sewerage treatment plants is 151 MGD. data show variation from year to year.Pakistan’s Water Challenges: Entitlement. AND RIGHTS Pakistan does not have a comprehensive set of water laws that define water rights. and the shortfall is 164 MGD. conservation.000 children die each year f rom waterborne diseases.

” including water. This is not a situation peculiar to the Indus River in Pakistan. In the case of groups that depend on common resources. 25 In terms of gender equity in Pakistan. the Mekong River experience. this work shows clearly how women are consistently more disadvantaged than men when it comes to claiming entitlements.Simi Kamal The principles of entitlement to common resources are better established in shamilat laws. Other countries manage their water resources between upper and lower riparian parts of the river. bu t h as yet to be fina liz ed . including landless farmers who are responsible for managing irrigation water. by precedent and custom. Pa kista n’s water policy framework can be said to include the follow ing: | 38 | . Some serious analy tical work has been done on the idea of “environmental entitlements. As long as the principles of special safeg uards for lower riparian areas are incorporated. it is actually not that hard. even though women’s use of common property resources has been crucial in maintaining household water and food security. This excludes all landless people. South African river water sharing. and watering of small-scale cultivation) does not seem to be significantly less than those of men from the same g roup. solutions are possible. While at first glance it is dif ficult to see how demand for more irrigation water should be balanced w ith the need for conservation and environmental flows. their “rig hts” to water are ill-defined. WATER POLICY AND WATER SECTOR REFORMS Pakistan’s draft National Water Policy is a general policy on water and h as b een t hr ou gh s ever al iter ation s. and periodic planting) and to water (for drinking. the access of women to land (for grazing. There are many models that can be studied. Every river in the world has a “punjab” and a “sindh”—an upper and lower riparian part of the river. gathering. and management of the Nile River. watering animals. Given that few women own or manage ag ricultural lands. and so can Pakistan. such as the experience of the Murray Darling Basin in Australia. and usually do not control such lands even i f owned. and how entitlements and rig hts should be rationalized. The ownership of land remains a proxy for water rights—especially in agricultural areas.

the provinces have irrig ation and public health departments. or conservation guidelines. and 19 academic and research institutions covering the water sector. Currently. To date. reg ulations. laws. Additionally. governance. 28 national organizations. and processes that impact on the way water is used. and their representatives fill the assemblies of the country. farmer org anizations are also being established. 2001) • Vision 2025 (Water and Power Development Authority. Efficiency. 2002) • Ten Year Perspective Plan (Planning Commission. institutions. 2001) • Vision and Framework for Action (Pakistan Water Partnership. While there are laws to g overn water distribution at dif ferent levels. penalties.Pakistan’s Water Challenges: Entitlement. towns. and valued.” common perceptions do not include an awareness that irri| 39 | . 2000) • Pakistan Water Strateg y (Ministry of Water and Power. and union councils have taken over water supply and sanitation. 2004) • The Pakistan Water Resources Strateg y (Ministry of Water and Power. Large parts of the Indus Basin in southern Punjab and upper Sindh are characterized by big landholdings that have managed to evade successive half-hearted land reforms and have appropriated water entitlements on the strength of the size of their holding s. there is little effective regulation. The frequent cry for more water is orchestrated by this class of people. districts. 26 at its current shared. and Equity • National Water Policy (latest draf t 2006) • Medium Term Development Framework (MTDF. The draft water policy stage reads like a list of actions and has no real vision or comprehensive approach. 2000) • The Water Accord of 1991 Water reforms imply changes in policy. Since devolution. conserved. 27 s A who’s who of water institutionis now produced and describes 10 public sector institutions. Pakistan does not have a single national regulator y framework dealing with the use of water. Access. The Indus River System Authority (IRSA) operates at the federal level. as do the Ministry of Water and Power and the Water and Power Development Authority. While it is partially recog nized in Pakistan that water does have “value. 2005-10) • Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP.

CONCLUSIONS Keeping in view the water-related Millennium Development Goals.” and remains the main focus of gender interventions. as well as haris (sharecroppers) or wage laborers. Unless the tenancy position of the sharecropping farmers is improved through reforms in Pakistan’s tenancy laws. 29 Since women do not have a clearly defined right over land as a proxy for water rights. In the meantime. the organization of production remains heavily dominated by sharecropping arrangements in which the ten2. Within these realities.Simi Kamal gation water is currently provided far below its economic value. In fact. ants are insecure8 In this arrangement. water scarcity. and increasing demands on water resources. but there is a propensity for the big landowners to appropriate leadership. Medium-size and small farmers. the benefits of irrigation infrastructure and rehabilitation—including increases in land values of 30 percent over the past decade—have directly enriched landowners. and energ y in this crucial domestic responsibility. Pakistan can meet the challenges. we have to ask the question: Can Pakistan meet its challenges through a continuation of conventional reforms and interventions? The answer is that yes. A paradig m shift will be required to reframe | 40 | . landowners are likely to continue to receive the lion’s share of the benefits of low water charges and infrastructure improvement. carrying water continues to be defined as “women’s work. a substantial part of which is subsidized by the government. but not through business as usual. given that women expend much time. effort. as well as Pakistan’s g rowing population. The issue of clout emanating f rom land ownership comes to the forefront ag ain when attempting to develop local participatory f rameworks for improved local water management. the potential offered by gender mainstreaming strategies and engendered statements in water policy will not be realized very easi ly. may be members. The very low irrigation service charges in Pakistan are usually justi fied as benefiting the poor. their interest in participatory water management is not too high.

and to address the f undamental issues of rights. a shift is needed from management of water supply to management of water demand. it needs to be recog nized publicly that not everyone in Punjab has excess. water and not everyone in Sindh is deprived of water. Additionally. One such option would be repairing and priming the canal system. The focus needs to shift from provincial distribution to uses and users of water—in terms of both rights and responsibilities—and away from the Sindh-Punjab debate and toward a discussion of better-managed water for all of Pakistan. However flawed it may be. From this perspective. access to water. environmental sustainabi lity. | 41 | . middle. and why should this demand be considered when agriculture already absorbs 97 percent of the total mobilized surface water. with their three Es of economic ef ficiency. During the drought of 1999-2000. and equity. proving that higher yields are possible with less water. when water availability was drastically reduced. one would have expected lower production. In terms of the Sindh-Punjab debate. or even adequate. The entire edifice of the argument for more irrig ation infrastructure is based on an uncritical capitulation to the demand for more irrigation water for agriculture. Most importantly. Access. there was a bumper wheat crop. there is tremendous scope for increasing water productivity. and tail farmlands in irrigated areas and in terms of other ways of water resources management in non-irrig ated rain-fed and arid areas. there is a system of water entitlements w ithin the irrigated areas. and Equity the whole discourse on water. design policy. This means the water discourse needs to be redefined in terms of head. Instead. and reform with more inclusive and comprehensive perspectives.Pakistan’s Water Challenges: Entitlement. There is a need to unpack this demand—who exactly is making this demand. There are options for increasing water supply from within the system without investing huge amounts in new infrastructure. Both provinces face the same issues in terms of equitable distribution among users. may provide a useful framework to reorient water demand and improve water management. Efficiency. Pakistan is not entirely w ithout traditions and options. for supporting one of the lowest agricultural productivities in the world per unit of water and land? Can this demand for more water for agriculture be reduced by producing more with less water? The answer is yes. Integrated water resources management approaches. and almost all the groundwater.

Irrig ation and agriculture reforms can generate significant outcomes if some or all of the following conditions are created: • L and holdings of more or less the same size (and not skewed between some huge farms and many tiny ones) • Socioeconomic homogeneity among f armers (i.Simi Kamal In situations where land ownership determines water rights. aggressively promoting conservation across | 42 | . service providers are made accountable) • Irrigation schemes and programs specifically desig ned to benefit the poor through clearly stated conditions for investments. and millions of people who have direct environmental entitlements. The g uiding principles should include making the greatest saving s where there is the greatest amount of use. encouraging more crop-perdrop processes. Pakistan’s ongoing water policy exercise needs to do some scenario-building in light of climate change. and rehabi litation of water infrastructure Given that Pakistan has millions of farmers both land-owning and landless. and divide up the Indus Basin into its sub-reg ions and come up w ith targeted long -term water strateg ies and prog ramming for each.. tradition. if not impossible. To be relevant and comprehensive. it would be extremely challeng ing. develop the concept of ag ro-climatic zoning. This will mean different actions in different zones to get maximum leverag e in manag ing water for all its uses. This means rationalizing the use of water in ag riculture. In cases where a right to water is determined by type of use. to recognize indiv idual water rights. or legal entitlement.. and reuse. all hold land titles rather than some owning land while the others are landless and caug ht in a system of sharecropping) • Incentives for better manag ing service delivery and quality • Farmers pay for water based on satisfactory service delivery (i.e. In the Pakist ani context.e. the arguments for secure rights to land are much more compelling t han water rights. and reducing the use of precious riverwater in cities by encourag ing urban desalination. recycling. Introducing water quality standards. repairs. water reform will need to ensure that all those that are entitled are clearly defined as such. it is land ownership that needs to be tackled ef fectively.

undated. “The Water Accord-1991. and Global Human Development Report 2007. keeping all natural water bodies replete w ith water. 3. available from http://www. I. April 2001. 6. 16. 7.pk. Pakistan’s Water Economy: Running Dry . 2007-2008. Sri Lanka. March 1991. 4. gover nment of Pakistan. “South Asia Water Vision. 18.” Dawn. Indus Water Accord. 8.pk. Sardar Tariq.pk. International Water Management Institute (I WMI ).undp.Pakistan’s Water Challenges: Entitlement. “Water Productivity. 2008.dawn.undp. www. Pakistan Wate r Partnership. 2. Efficiency.” United Nations Population Fund/Ministr y of Population Welfare. a Priority for Development. 11. December 2001.accord. “Vision and Progr amme Docume nt. com/p/articles /mi_hb092/is_n3_v22ai_n28601491/. Sher Baz Khan. John Briscoe and Usman Qamar.” July 2001. Pakistan’s Water Economy: Running D ry. These figure s are available from the websites of Pakistan’s government.pakistan. “Diamer-Bhasha project gets go-ahead.” pre sentation made at National Seminar on Integr ated Water Resources Management. 2000. 17. Economic Survey of Pakistan.com/english/ watercrisis/the. Pakistan Water Par tner ship. www. T. and the UNDP.gov. 5. | 43 | . and Saeed Ur Rehman. Access. 2005. www. Pakistan Water Par tner ship. December 21-22. “The Water Accord-1991. “Ir rigation Management in Pakistan and India: Compar ing Notes on Institutions and Policies. 9.” Available from www. 12.org. Country Report Pakistan.” 13. NOTES 1.” Working Paper 4.htm.org. 2006).” June 1999. and Equity the board. Pakistan’s Water Economy: Running Dry (Oxford. “South Asia Water Vision. quoted on UNDP website. Indus Water Accord. 14.shtml.” 15.” Indus Delta Partnership. adaptation to climate change—these would all be essential elements of a revamped Pakistani water policy. Available from http://findarticles. Hussain. I slamabad. 10. “Pakistan Countr y Re port Vision for Water for the 21st Century.pakissan. Shah. Simi Kamal.com/2008/11/12/top1. “Population Stabilization. “Apoc alypse Now.” Newslinemagazine. United Kingdom: Wor ld Bank/Oxford Univer sity Press. Country Report Pakistan.water. taking measures to rehabilitate the freshwater–seawater interface on the coasts. Novem ber 12. Colombo.

“Ir rigation Management in Pakistan and I ndia. 136. Dhaka. “Who is Who in Water Sector in Pakistan.” report to the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) Global Environmental Change I nitiative and the Overseas Development Administration. Dhaka. 27.waterinfo.iucn.” | 44 | . 2004).net. Countr y Repor t Pakistan. Bangladesh. available from http://www. Bangladesh.org/ downloads/sindh_soed. December 2004. Government of Sindh.” unpublished. Simi Kamal and Jasveen Jair ath.” paper presente d at the Asia-Pac ific Regional Consultation Workshop on Water and Poverty. United Kingdom. 2006.” July 2001.water info. I WMI. Mooraj.net. Sindh: State of Environment and D evelopmenKarachi: (t IUCN Pakistan. “Poverty and the Envir onme nt in Developing Countr ies: An Over view Study.” paper presented at the Third South Asia Water For um.P. 1991. 22. and T. Sewerage & Sanitation Issue s in a Giant Coastal City. Pakistan Water Policy Draft. Pakistan Water Partnership. “Integrated Social and Environmental Assessment (I SEA) for a Proposed Sindh On-Far m Water Management (SOFWM) Project. 21.PDF#http://www.pk/pdf/ NationalWaterPolicy. Channa. 23. “South Asia Water Vision. World Bank. 29. Report available from http://cmsdata. 2007.pdf.org/projects/project. Simi Kamal. “The Kar achi Nightmare: Water. September 2002. Pakistan Water Partnership. Project information available from http://www. ESRC. Asian Development Bank.PDF. 26. The concept of entitlements is best discussed in Melissa L each and Robin Mearns. Swindon. Techn ical Assistance” (Financed by the Japan Special Fund).adb. Pakistan. July 2004. I. I UCN Pakistan. “Sindh Basic Urban Services Project. asp?id=37220. 24. “Supplement to The Framework for Action (FFA) for Achieving the Pakistan Water Vision 2025.” July 2003. “Addressing Water and Poverty at the Grassroots: A Case Study of Area Water Par tner ships and Women and Water Networ ks in South Asia. 25.” 20. 28.pk/pdf/NationalWaterPolicy.19.

and water in particular. The agricultural economy is predominantly irrigated. 21 million ha are cultivated—of which 18 million ha are irrig ated. where rainfall is a meager 127 mm per year and groundwater is generally brackish. In Sindh Province. The economy of the country depends heavily on the productivity of its resources. About 12 million ha of Pakistan’s irrigated land lies within the Indus River system. and employs half the labor force. The emergence of two independent states—Pakistan and India—divided the Indus River system. which lies largely outside the Indus Basin. India shut off water flow f rom the Dipalpur Canal and the Bahawalpur Kaiser Bengali is an economist and former national coordinator of the T Benazir Income Support Programme in Pakistan. The boundary between the two countries was drawn such that it placed India in control of many of the canal headworks—locations where water flows are diverted and controlled and where water supply is regulated.Water Management under Constraints: The Need for a Paradigm Shift K i S e rBe n g a l i a he Indus River is Pakistan’s lifeline. contributes to more than half of exports. | 45 | . the Indus is the only source of water for irrigation as well as human consumption. Pakistan began its life as an independent state with a life-threateni ng water crisis. Taking advantage of the situation. The agricultural sector uses up to 90 percent of Pakistan’s total water resources. The country receives just 250 millimeters (mm) of rainfall per year—f ar less than the world averag e. receives less than 100 mm of rainfall per year. produces one-fi fth of gross domestic product (GDP). Baluchistan Province. Of the total land area of 80 million hectares (ha). and India became the upper riparian state.

management. $1. is under construction. This paradigm was partly inherited from the British colonial era. under duress. The shut-off. Most recently. affected 1. During the 1960s and 1970s. Crucially. One is physical—the growing shortfall in water supplies—and the other is fiscal—the growing paucity of available funds for investment. threatening the loss of about one million tons of wheat output. 19 barrages.kilometer (km) Kacchi Canal. and maintenance. and conservation of water resources. $500 million Greater Thal Canal has been laid in southern Punjab.6 million km of water courses and field channels. the U.S.000 tubewells. The obsession with engineering /civil works projects has been so all-encompassing that little or no attention has been accorded to an alternative sociocentric paradigm that would incorporate elements of development. a rang e of large. one siphon. India’s terms for the resumption of water flow. five barrages.S. 43 canal commands. and eight link canals. while the U. and 12 link canals. There are 550.2 billion 500. Apart f rom underlining the security threat from India. operation. 3 major reservoirs. 1948. passing through Punjab and Baluchistan.000 km of canals and 1.7 million acres of cultivable land in Pakistan. a large portion of investment in the water sector was directed at gigantic Indus Basin projects: the Mangla Dam. In Pakistan today. The water management paradig m that emerg ed was overwhelmingly technocentric in nature and based on two facets: engineering solutions and water storage. Beg inning with the construction of the Sindhani project on the Ravi River (now in India) in 1886. 2 headworks. the technocentric paradigm is under stress from two binding constraints. timed with the sowing of the wheat crop. highly capital-intensive projects have been built to date. | 46 | . The wheat crop was saved only after Pakistan accepted. the Indus River system consists of the Indus River and its tributaries. the crisis also hig hlig hted the imperative of manag ing water resources within the country. the Tarbela Dam. running into 56.Kaiser Bengali Tributary to Pakistan on April 1.

Tarbela Dam remained at dead-level for an average of 22 days per year. water demand exceeds supply.13 MAF Annual average flow 19 78 -2008 140. Water and Power Development Authority. | 47 | . Lahore.60 MAF 19 98-20 08 123. depending on snowfall in the Himalayan and Karakoram ranges and rainfall i n the catchment Table 1: Annual Western River Flows Maximum flow in 1977-78 172.00 MAF 19 98-20 08 128.Water Management under Constraints: The Need for a Paradigm Shift THE WATER CONSTRAINT In Pakistan. On an annual basis. the demand for water has led to maximum withdrawals from reser voirs.00 MAF Note: MAF=Million Acre Feet Source: Estimated from data obtained from government of Pakistan.) From 2000 to 2004. and in 2000 and 2004 the dam reached dead-level for 41 and 46 days. respectively. leading to a crisi slike situation almost every year. The f act that dams have to be taken down to dead-level is indicative of water shortag e. causing the Mangla and Tarbela dams to reach dead-level every single year. (Dead-level refers to cases in which water discharge from dams must cease because the minimum-required level of water has been reached.52 MAF “4 out of 5 years” annual average flow 19 78 -2008 135. The quantum of water flow ing i n the Indus and its tributaries varies w idely from year to year.10 MAF Minimum flow in 2001-02 97.

The problem of water scarcity is compounded by unscheduled disr uptions in water supplies due to unilateral actions by India. Though the matter is still under discussion between the two countries (and remains unresolved. | 48 | . from the portion of the Chenab River flowing through territor y under India’s control.000 cusecs on August 25 and to 25. the same for 1998-2008 is 128.000 cubic f eet per second (cusecs) of water in the Chenab River across the de facto Pakistan-India boundar y li ne i n Kashmir. the Indus R iver system’s upper r iparian. except for specified limited pur poses. The highest river inflow in the last three decades was 172.Kaiser Bengali areas. In years without super floods (noted as “4 out of 5 years” in Table 1).60 M AF. This crisis was followed by the comprehensive Indus Waters Treaty of 1960 between Pakistan and Indi a (mediated by the World Bank). Super floods occur approximately once every five years.52. as of this writing). In the remai ning four years. Declining water availabil ity is indicated in Table 1. A comparison of water availability statistics between the last 30 and 10 years poi nts toward declining water flows. India began to fil l the Baglihar Hydroelectric Power Plant reservoir on the Chenab. The treaty allocated the entire Chenab River to Pakistan—suggesting that India is not entitled to draw any water. Pakistan has lost about 2 MAF of water. averag e flows have declined from 135. which reg ulated water relations between the two countries.69 MAF i n 2006-07. The treaty ensures a minimum flow of 55.10 MAF i n 1977-78. river flows decli ned to 48. however. average water availability has been 135.6 MAF during 1978-2008 to 123 M AF duri ng 1998-2008. In August-September 2008.000 cusecs on September 4 (see Table 2). and Pakistan’s wheat crop has been adversely affected. While average flows for 1978-2008 equal 140 MAF. Reference was made earl ier to the shut-off in water flow by India i n Apri l 1948. As a resu lt. the hig hest inflow post-1998 has been 152. which has rai sed the average flow to 140 million acre feet (MAF) over the past 30 years.

00 0 August 20 0300 51. DEALING WITH WATER SCARCITY There are two opinions about how to deal w ith the problem of water scarcity.000 September 03 0700 28.500 August 24 0500 55.Water Management under Constraints: The Need for a Paradigm Shift Table 2: Chenab River Flow at Marala Rim Station (August 19-September 4. 00 0 August 30 0100 35.000 August 31 1000 38.000 September 01 14 00 31. One set of opinion favors the construction of more storage capacity (e..000 September 04 0700 25. Ministry of Water and Power. This is the technocentric approach.000 August 22 0400 20. The other opinion opposes the construction of new dams on grounds of water availability and instead calls for a more sociocentric approach.g.000 August 27 14 00 47. 000 August 28 14 00 36.0 00 September 02 1200 28.000 August 29 0600 37.000 August 25 2100 48. and each advises doing so in a diametrically opposite way. dams).00 0 August 21 1800 20.000 August 23 0100 41. 2008) Date Hour Cusecs August 19 1300 51.000 August 26 14 00 45. This debate has in | 49 | .000 Source: Government of Pakistan.

They re| 50 | . The dam is also considered justified on the grounds that existing dams are fast losing their storage capacity due to the build-up of silt deposits in their reservoirs—which has reduced water supply at a time when demand is increasing. it is stated. Power shortages of over 5. thereby. thermal power plants run on imported fuel. First. during super floods. therefore. cotton. Third. despite the formal announcement of the dam’s abandonment and despite the announcement of the construction of a dam at an alternative site upstream of Tarbela at Daimer-Bhasha. Second. a drop in the production of export commodities such as rice. resulting in power outages and hampering industrial and ag ricultural production. additional foreig n exchange w ill have to be allocated for the importation of food grains. The Kalabag h issue continues to simmer. and texti les will mean the loss of foreign exchange earnings. further burdening scarce foreign exchange resources. Dam proponents reveal a frightening scenario. dam supporters argue that the scale of the emerg ing water shortage will adversely affect power generation and supply as well. The Case against Kalabagh Dam Opponents of Kalabagh Dam advance several arg uments. as much as 100 billion cubic meters of water flow downstream of Kotri Barrage—the last man-made barrier on the Indus River—into the Arabian Sea. demonstrates the need for a third storage dam on the Indus. will put a three-fold burden on Pakistan’s meager foreig n exchange resources. This flow is termed a waste and. The corresponding shortfall in food g rains alone is likely to be 12 mi llion tons. This. The induction of thermal power plants can resolve the situation.Kaiser Bengali recent years been centered on the Kalabagh Dam. The Case for Kalabagh Dam Proponents of the dam have claimed that.000 megawatts (MW) per year have been predicted by 2010. There will be a shortfall in renewable water availability of 108 MAF by 2013. in order. however. and has been hig hly politically charged and contentious. A review of the two positions is.

nor the minimum.” The criteria for filling the exorbitantly costly U. In the case of Wyoming v. reducing the mang rove cover in the delta from 500.000 ha in 2005. nor on recollections of unusual flows which have passed down the stream in prior years.S. excluding the years of exceptionally low flow. Crops cannot be grown on expectations of average flows which do not come. Dam opponents also base their case on the arithmet ic of water availability. and assert that the flow is essential for the health of the Indus Delta reg ime. The internationally accepted leg al precept for water availability calculation is explained by the United States Supreme Court. . The construction of the Tarbela Dam reduced the flow downstream of Kotri Barrage by 30 percent annually and by 40 percent during the pre-monsoon season. . the state of Wyoming ( soug ht to prevent the state of Colorado and two Colorado corporations from diverting the waters of the interstate L aramie River. Colorado 1922). In Pakistan. $ 8-10 billion Kalabagh Dam should be the “lowest average of any | 51 | . over a long period.” Storage dams cannot be filled “on expectat ions of average flows which do not come. the supply must be fairly continuous and dependable . . It is claimed that for rivers in general.Water Management under Constraints: The Need for a Paradigm Shift ject terming the flow downstream of Kotri as a waste. . 476). opponents of the Kalabagh Dam interpret t he U. which has had to adjudicate on some extremely complex interstate water disputes. . When the state of Colorado presented annual average flow fig ures as the measure of available supply of water. the supply must be fairly continuous and dependable . and that another dam would cause irreparable damage. the average river inflow is transitory. and that perpetual and expensive projects like the Kalabagh Dam cannot be based on transitory data. Only when the water is actually applied does the soil respond” (259 U. nor on recollections of unusual flows which have passed down the stream in prior years. Supreme Court decision thus: “ To be available in a pract ical sense. the court pronounced thus: “To be available in a practical sense. excluding the year of the highest flow. They opine that earlier dams led to serious degradation of the Indus River ecosystem. 471.000 ha in 1958 to 86.S. but instead the lowest average of any two successive years. Internationally accepted criteria suggest using the annual average quantum of water available in four out of five years.S. The Supreme Court adopted neither the average.

60 MAF Balance -3. The previous experience of reservoirinduced average annual system losses for Tarbela Dam is: • Post-Mang la. Pre-Tarbela (1966-1977). the Kalabag h Dam will also add its share to system losses. annual average system losses are estimated at 15.19 MAF.9 MAF • Post-Tarbela (1976-1987). Table 3: Indus River System Estimate s Water requirement 139.2 MAF In other words. In this respect. The arithmetic of water availability in the three western rivers of the Indus River system is shown in Table 3.” Before attempting the arithmetic of water availability.Kaiser Bengali two successive years.19 MAF Rel ease b elow Kot ri fo r o ut flo w t o th e sea (essential for the eco-health of the Indus delta) 10.00 MAF Water availability 135.94 MAF Source: Kazi (1998).54 MAF Allocation to the f our provinces (as per 1991 Water Accord) 114. 16. | 52 | . the inclusion of Tarbela D am in the Indus River sy stem increased sy stem losses by 9. excluding the years of except ionally low flow. 6. Updated based on data from government of Pakistan.3 MAF. This calculation does not include system losses that would occur due to evaporation and vertical and horizontal seepage f rom the water mass in the Kalabagh reservoir. Ministry of Water and Power. Inevitably.35 MAF System losses 15. it is pertinent to introduce the element of system losses due to percolation in the riverbeds.

this minimum requirement rises to more than 150 MAF. as well as to a rise in the water table—an indication that sub-soil water is not drainBalance ing adequately. ec a F to be drained. The technocentric paradigm does have its merits and has. in the opinion of opponents. Rel ease b elow Wottei logging t flo w t o th e sea (esK a r r fo r o u sential for the eco-health of the Indus delta) 10. Source: Kazi (19w8)ichpdreed basedton datoifromnfot erforencuf tPvation.radMAF have traditionally stressed enhanced water use.d0tionaF water flow to the newly constructed canal commands. i ant ad 6i MA l contributed to an increased recharge of groundwater.Water Management under Constraints: The Need for a Paradigm Shift The arithmetic outlined above means that the total annual available water normally in the three western rivers of the Indus River system has to be at least 140 MAF to justify the construction of a third storag e dam on the Indus.19n aAF to drain. Planners embracing te i t pa 54 igm Water requiremhns 139. Massive investments have been m de n o rigats (a xtr 19 on Allocation to the faouriprirvinceion sepeensi91 throug h one water storage and diversion Water Accord) p1oj35 tMAfter another. This approach treats water as a mere raw material and attempts to use technical and scientific knowledge to harness it to its fullest capacity. turned tarm Estdmintes g reen acres. without consideration as to how this water was 1 r 4. The rise in the water table above a certain level not -3. | 53 | . but left it to nature to handle water disposal. If evaporation and seepage losses at Kalabagh are factored in. causing waterlogg ing and salinity on a vast scale. The technocentric paradig m induces policymakers to look almost exclusively toward engineering solutions. The system has provided more water than the land has bee M ble System losses 15.. foreign debt-funded water inf rastructure projects. WATER MANAGEMENT PARADIGMS: TECHNOCENTRIC APPROACH Proponents of the technocentric approach have a penchant for large.00 MAF The construction of the Mang la and Tarbela dams. but also brings up sub-soil saline elements. in the Table 3: Indupast. There are li mits to working against nature. it has its limitations s River Sys e id lan i s at o too.94 MAF only “drowns” plant roots. Clearly. Kalabagh Dam does not qualify even if the averag e water availability of 140 MAF is accepted. with the concomiWater availabiltty 135. Minie try dditional convey9 h . However. capital-intensive. U at nder s he s a l u g i v nm t ol i akistan Th s a of Water and Power.

62 6 12 16 . Trends by Province Percent Area under Water Table Province Total Area (Depth in Meters) (mha) <1 1–2 2–3 <3 >3 Punjab Sindh Baluchistan NWFP Total 10. The rate of recharg e has been so high that a new f reshwater aquifer in the Chashma Rig ht Bank Canal command area has been created. raising the estimated recharge to groundwater in the Indus Basin to 56 billion cubic meters.htm . | 54 | .57 6 24 27 57 40 0. mostly in Punjab. conducted by Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA). A 1979 survey.org/DOCREP/005/AC623E/ ac623e0i. waterlogging still af fects large tracts of land.35 1 6 9 16 84 6 24 66 0. Although groundwater use has increased significantly over the last two decades. http://www. indicated that the post-Tarbela water table in 42 percent of the Indus Basin was less t han three meters below t he surface and was classified as waterlogged. In Sindh. In 22 percent of the basin area.Kaiser Bengali ance losses due to Tarbela alone added 10 percent to the overall recharge of groundwater. and about 22 percent of the Indus Basin command area has Table 4: Water Table Depths and Areas Affected: Indus Plain.71 7 15 20 42 55 Note: mha=million hect ares Source: FAO Corporate Document Registry. the water table was less than two met ers below the surface. about 57 percent of the prov ince had a water t able at less than three meters below the surface and was affected by waterlogg ing (see Table 4).17 7 11 17 35 63 5.fao.

to the failure of SCARP (Salinity Control and Reclamation Project) efforts to control waterlogg ing. In fact.5 meters. The situation is worst in Sindh.Water Management under Constraints: The Need for a Paradigm Shift a water table within 1. | 55 | . and to inadequate sub-surface drainage. Chart 1: Salinity Levels by Province 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% NWFP Punjab SindhBalochPakistan Salt free Slightly saline Moderately saline Strongly saline Source: Bhutta and Smedema (2005). This rising water table indicates a worsening situation in terms of soil salinity. The problem has been attributed to additional recharge from enhanced water supplies in newly constructed canal commands. the rise in the water table has been faster than expected and has required an additional loan to introduce drainage. Nearly a quarter of land in the canal command area is saline and rendered unfit for cultivation. where over 50 percent of land in the canal command area is af flicted by salinity (see Chart 1). Salinity Waterlogging bring s subsoil salts to surface levels and leads to problems of soi l salinity.

2. none of the plans were implemented as stipulated. and 5.950 kilometers of surface drains.000 other structures. on account of the Indus Basin replacement works (see Table 5). The project was illdesig ned. Meanwhi le.000 kilometers of underg round drains.Kaiser Bengali The need to resolve this man-made disaster led to another massive civil works initiative: the U. The project is now in need of another remedial project. 17 percent of development resources have been devoted to water| 56 | . About 60 percent of the cost was financed by foreig n exchange provided by international creditors. The vast physical network inherent in such projects has also required an extensive bureaucracy to manage the same and imposed enormous operations and maintenance (O&M) costs. With the exception of the second five-year plan. An historical review of capital and recurrent expenditure on the water sector highlights the point.S. $785 million Lef t Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD) project. Pakistan has prepared eig ht five-year development plans over the period of 1950-1998. The allocations were as hig h as 20-28 percent during the third and fourth plan periods (1965-1975). and did not take into account tidal flow levels. On average. on average.000 tubewells. A review of these plans over the period of 1948-2008 shows that. consisting of 1. Consequently. These investments have required substantial budgetary allocations. 2. large pools of saline water have accumulated and part of the protective weir has been washed away by tidal action. in rupees as well as in foreig n exchange. the allocations do provide an indication of the relative priority accorded to water projects.related projects. Nevertheless. 14 percent of resources have been apportioned for water. A more relevant process for purposes of development planning and allocation of development funds has been the Annual Plans. Fiscal Constraint The technocentric investment portfolio has almost always leaned exclusively toward civil works packages. the fiscal and balance of pay ments impacts have been profound. The allocation of funds for water-related projects has always commanded high priority in terms of funding. choked the natural flow of drainage.

These expenditures. During the earlier years. on average.8 percent of GDP. In the case of water projects. have grown by 2. 1973-1990. Five-Year Plans. this expenditure was as high as 25 percent during 1948-50.570 11 .000 11.34 percent of GDP. Projects. O&M expenditures on average grew at 4. once completed. Ministries of Finance and Planning.000 2. create a stream of O&M expenditures. and—on account of the Indus Basin replacement works—as high as 1.500 2 8.4 percent per annum and accounted for 0.4 percent of GDP during the 1960s (see Table 7).9 Table 5: Profile of Water Sector Allocations under Fi ve-Year Plans (in current rupees) Plan Years To tal Allocation (Rs. w ith the external element being as high as nearly 53 percent during 1991-2000 (see Table 6).7 1983-88 295.000 19. Million) Share of Water Allo cation (%) NA = Not Available Source: Government of Pakistan. | 57 | . on average.1 1993-98 483.000 10.000 32. 27 percent of the project costs have been funded through external loans.500 866 9 . Moreover. Million) 1s t 2n d 3r d 4t h 5t h 6t h 7t h 8t h Average 1955-60 NA NA NA 1960-65 9.600 5. 3 Water Allocation (Rs.320 55.1 1965-70 14.Water Management under Constraints: The Need for a Paradigm Shift related projects.922 20.9 1970-75 19.1 1977-83 163. such costs must be borne by provincial governments.8 1988-93 350.000 28.5 1960-98 14. On average.400 8. water-related projects have apportioned 0.

0 0 9 21 0 .11 6 9 96 16 . Even in the current fiscal year. however. 7 3 7. 9 1 4. 574 2 0 .1 NA 19 5 0 -19 6 1 1 96 2 -19 7 0 1 97 1-1 9 80 6 . 8 1 .45 percent of GDP. and Annual Plans (1970-2008). 9 NA = Not Available Sources: Government of Pakistan. 0 1 7. 0 16 . The result of the non-availability of O& M f unds has been the deterioration of the irrig ation infrastructure. 70 1 13 . 714 16 . 1950). | 58 | . These projects account for 1 percent of GDP.7 79 . 8 0 4 1 2. 3 1 98 1-1 9 9 0 19 9 1. O&M expenditure has remained stag nant in real terms and now accounts for 0. 6 0 4. 3 59 19 . Such constraints have been imposed by the shifting of the burden of federal fiscal deficit containment to the provinces. and its attendant effects on the performance of the ag ricultural sector. Clearly.16 percent of GDP (see Table 8). 4 2 6 . The lack of growth in O&M expenditures can be attributed largely to the grow ing constraints on provincial finances.3 5 0 11 3. 70 0 3 . water projects constitute the single-largest allocation in the federal public investment budget and account for 17 percent of this budget’s total.1 64 11 . 3 2 0.Kaiser Bengali percent and accounted for 0. 5 6 0 3 7. M i ll i o n) P r o j e ct s (% ) 19 4 8 -19 5 0 87 6 2 20 2 5 . Planning Commission report on “Development Projects: Progress of Important Approved Schemes” (1961). Pakistan D evelopment Projects (1948-1950. Wa t er A ll o ca ti o n Sh a r e o f Wa t e r A l l o ca t i o n (%) Sh a r e o f F o re i g n E x ch a n g e i n W a te r (Rs . Table 6: Profile of Water Sector Allocations under Annual Plans-I (in current rupees) Plan Yea r s To t a l A l l o c a ti o n Mi l l i on) (R s.1 6 73 . 8 19 . 3 2 0 .20 0 8 A v e ra g e 32 7. Since the 1990s. 4 52 . the technocentric approach has imposed a hig h cost on the economy.20 0 0 20 0 1.

and Economic Surveys (1950-2008).0 0 9 2. M i l l io n) a s Sh a r e o f GD P NA 8 76 NA 2 2 0 NA 1 9 5 0-1 9 61 17 1.6 19 6 2-1 9 70 2 4 8.1 0 . 1 19 8 1-1 99 0 5 . 3 3 . Planning Commission report on “Development Projects: Progress of Important Approved Schemes” (1961).0 0 0 7 9.3 3 7. 9 2 10 .0 0 0 19 .9 7 2. 35 0 3. 6 9 9 6 0 . 1950). 0 0 0 6 . 0 0 0 1. 3 5 9 1 . The share of water projects in contributing to the crisis is not insignificant. | 59 | .Water Management under Constraints: The Need for a Paradigm Shift Table 7: Profile of Water Sector Allocations under Annual Plans-II (in current rupees) Gr o ss D o m es t i c P l an Ye a rs P r o d u ct ( Rs.0 0 0 3 27 . 8 0 4 0. 4 19 71 -19 8 0 1. 56 0 6 . Annual Plans (1970-2008). 5 0 4.0 0 0 6 7 3.2 5 8. 5 2 0 01 -2 0 0 8 52 . 70 0 7. which is about twice the IMF-accepted norm. The external debt-GDP ratio stands close to 30 percent and is a principal cause of Pakistan’s severe balance of payments problems. 6 0 4 . The country’s fiscal and current account imbalances have been responsible for persistent bouts of macroeconomic instability.2 4 3.1 6 4 0 .1 16 3. Pakistan D evelopment Projects (1948-1950. Mi l l i on) Sh a r e o f GD P (%) (Rs . 1 9 48 -1 9 50 Mi l l i on) Plan A l l o ca t i o n P l a n Al l o c a ti o n aWa t er s A l lo ca ti o n Wa te r Al l o c a ti o n (%) ( Rs .5 11 3 . 8 NA = No t A v ai l a b l e Sources: Government of Pakistan. 8 1 9 91 -2 0 00 2 0.4 A ve r a g e 5 . The current fiscal deficit is stated to be in excess of 7 percent of GDP. 5 74 0. Capital and recurrent expenditures on water projects—the former largely and the latter to some extent—have been foreign debt-fi nanced. 71 4 1. 2 13 . 7 01 7.

3 0.46 1. the sociocentric ap- | 60 | . The glacier in the high mountains and the delta below are as interconnected as the rains and the underg round water aquifers.31 -1.44 3.Kaiser Bengali Table 8: Profile of Provincial Irrigation Sector O&M Expenditure Plan Years Total Allocation (Rs. call for recog nizing the potential of socioengineering responses. WATER MANAGEMENT PARADIGMS: SOCIOCENTRIC APPROACH The technocentric approach is driven by the log ic that eng ineering expertise alone will provide the capacity to manage water.34 Water Allocation (Rs.7 0.1 0.4 0. Million) 1973-1980 19 81-1990 1991-2000 2001-2008 Average 6 . The constraints of water availability and fiscal balances. capital-intensive foreig n debt-f unded approaches. Million) Sources: Social Policy & Development Centre Database and government of Pakistan Economic Surveys. It overlooks the f act that water constitutes a system: a hydrological cycle in which every intervention may be a possible disruption to the system. however.0 0. it has raised water tables and turned fertile lands into saline marshes. The creation of a vast network of canals was a great human feat. ag gravated by the environmental and economic costs imposed by technocentric eng ineering projects. As opposed to the technocentric reliance on large.16 2.

And there is now sufficient evidence that water is in short and declining supply. Two imperatives emerg e from the above: 1. w ith the stress on efficiency of water conveyance—particularly in zones where groundwater is brackish and not amenable to retrieval in terms of quality. with a view to ensuring sustainable water use. with a view to shifting acreage away from water-intensive crops. The fiscal and external account constraints are also likely to remain in the foreseeable f uture. ecologically balanced approaches. The need to move from a fetish w ith expanding water supply through water storage to a stress on conserving available water resources. There is. the water management paradigm has to be informed by the constraints the economy is facing.Water Management under Constraints: The Need for a Paradigm Shift proach places a relatively greater reliance on indigenous physical and human resource management and is more resource-ef ficient and ecologically conducive. The need to move away from large-scale capital-and technology-intensive. given the climate changes underway. Furthermore. Conservation needs to be the g uiding principle. thus. particularly those in foreig n exchange. given the high rate of urbanization and the rapidly expanding consumption of water in Pakistan’s cities. foreig n debt-funded. | 61 | . The water constraint is likely to intensif y further in the long run. there is a need to put in place a comprehensive water-management planning f ramework. There is also an urgent need to identify various water-saving technologies that can be applied to different ag ro-ecolog ical zones. there is an imperative to introduce the extensive recycling of urban wastewater. a need to adopt a water management paradigm that conserves water and economizes on investment and O&M funding needs. they merely store the water that is available. Primarily. mandated to address surface and groundwater issues. To beg in w ith. Dams do not produce water. and environment-degrading approaches to indigenous technology-and management-intensive. Attention also needs to be focused on changes in cropping patterns. and 2.

” I nstitute of Water logging and Salinity Research I nstitute (IWASRI). F. Communications. “Drainage and Salinity Management. Colorado259 U. Kazi. Supreme Court.B.com/us/259/419/case. Smedema. Lahor e. Zuberi. U. Available from . 1922. “Water Developme nt for Ir rigated Agriculture in Pakistan: Past Trends. Retur ns and Future Require ments.” Pakistan WR-CAS Paper No. M.htm. Sufi. “State of Art of Groundwater Exploration. FAO Cor por ate Document Repositor y.fao.S. Available from www.16. N and L . 1992. | 62 | . Management and L egislation.html.K.” Food and Agr icultural Organization (FAO). Kalabagh Dam: T he Sindh Case Hyderabad: Creative . Pr epared for Pakistan Water Str ategy Repor t by the World Bank. ed. Kaiser. Exploitation. 2005. and A. Abrar.A. 419. Water and Power Developme nt Authorit y (WAPDA). http://supreme. Sustainable Development Polic y I nstitute and Oxford Universit y Press.or g/DOCREP/005/AC623E/ ac623e0i. 2003. Hafeez Akhtar. Bhutta.S.justia. The Politics of Managing WaterIslamabad and Karachi: . Wyoming v.Kaiser Bengali REFERENCES Bengali. 1998. Randhawa.

10 88.49 23.47 1924 -25 109.6 8 1943 -44 130.93 134.81 2005-06 121.28 141.45 126.80 1982-83 97.10 1949 -50 132.06 2006-07 121.68 18.53 30. 67 149.22 23.53 1998-99 124.10 1978 -79 NA NA NA 1936 -37 124. 85 109.87 19.Appendix: Annual Western River* Inflows by Seasons: 1923 .9 6 19.30 1995-96 129.50 18.76 144.30 1984-85 115. 05 1945-46 131.55 153.56 112.57 19 57-58 123.20 15.38 30.08 1996-97 137.32 1947-48 101.02 132.69 1967-68 120.42 20.47 25.54 19.95 145.85 17.62 31.31 131.59 136.44 20.12 129.41 110.75 155.98 20.09 130.96 124.01 29.97 35.37 22.15 23.61 15 0.40 21.74 1988 -89 136.12 131.61 1956-57 131.46 157. 68 22.27 122.13 129.81 26.46 1935 -36 116.65 1944 -45 119.10 151.81 1994-95 138.02 117.51 2004-05 86. and Chenab.10 2000-01 1958 -5 9 124.29 13 9.42 1946-47 112.61 25.07 36.22 142.68 149.43 135.76 134.25 1954 -55 119.14 19.14 30.13 94.31 1931-32 101.28 1934-35 108 .43 2007-08 105.63 23.77 164.58 20.28 97.05 186.10 21. Kharif = Summer crop season NA = Not available Source: Government of Pakistan.96 1981-82 117.21 113.38 1999-00 107.36 23.86 * I ncludes three western rivers: Indus.21 138.84 101.96 1941-42 106.84 1979-80 108.81 22.14 137.18 1925-26 100.10 32. Jhelum.72 19 91-92 141.93 158.49 19. 35 131.74 104.31 123.77 143.70 196 0-61 NA NA NA 2003-04 115.48 15 .2008 (Million Acre Feet) Years Kharif Rabi Total Years Kharif Rabi Total 1922-23 121.19 18 .31 196 9-70 114.56 2001-02 1959 -6 0 154 .59 1974.27 146.29 23.31 124.81 195 2-53 112.01 1929 -30 097.42 25.62 24 .10 150 . 90 106.81 21.48 1951-52 093.47 23.75 1932-33 107.59 147.06 117.02 1966 -67 116.61 1939 -4 0 127.02 27.92 20.16 18.76 161.17 1963 -6 4 113.92 194 2-43 145.11 22. 99 125.09 158.10 127. Rabi = Winter crop season.64 19.47 34.61 132.93 140.01 18.29 21.56 20.67 1990 -91 130.27 15.25 1927-28 090.85 30.33 16 .97 80.93 140.42 130.6 6 135.25 1997-98 110.66 26.70 28.63 195 3-54 116.30 1971-72 193 0-31 117.76 1962-63 089.25 17.30 1983 -84 128.61 22.7 7 29.15 118.55 144.83 140.23 146.86 1973-74 145.94 23. Ministry of Water and Power.11 1948 -4 9 132.64 23.26 1975-76 116.56 102.65 1968-69 115.65 1993 -94 104.39 138.85 1977-78 104.79 165.93 24 .84 1926 -27 0 99.70 1965 -66 117.30 23.33 17. 06 169.79 2002-03 19 61-62 119.45 1980 -81 109.92 25.52 1933-34 125.15 117.60 20.20 26.27 20.71 156.84 23.37 139.21 22.89 79.82 123.0 9 138.74 32.63 17.43 1989 -90 102.96 1937-38 110.28 22.40 193 8-3 9 125.36 23.27 140.90 1923-24 130. .85 18 .40 169.00 1992-93 138.45 22.14 166 .63 125.16 1972-73 101.00 28.96 23.92 145.84 152.36 1985 -86 91.69 1964 -6 5 116.38 1940-41 107.31 26.22 139.38 171.51 25.20 19.97 130.66 126.57 172.85 1970 -71 192 8-29 108.80 127.68 195 0-51 151.32 1955-56 107.76 146.15 1986 -87 116.64 19.11 25.99 18 .68 22.67 100.9 9 8 2.72 90.56 24 .79 1987-88 117.44 1976 -77 116.

and toil. irrigation is the application of additional water to the natural balance. When such conditions persist for a long time. This inf rastructure has been the most valuable asset of the Indus Basin for the past century. in pursuit of careers and national colonial goals. sweat. water. Such foreign personnel—mostly British—were carryi ng modern technolog y to a land that had remained insulated from advances in scientific knowledge bearing on engineering technology. The men and women. Occasionally. and more than 60 percent of annual national foreign exchange earnings. hope.Pakistan’s Water Economy. slowly and steadily over a century. and the Relentless Struggle for Sustainability S a M Su l Mu l K h he adventure of taming the mighty Indus River and its tributaries to serve the Indus Basin and now Pakistan has been a fascinating story of human need. the Indus River System and its Development Infrastructure. and it came into being. Its value to Pakistan comes f rom the f act that it generates production that accounts for 25 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). 47 percent of total employment. frequent famines in the Indus Basin mag nified the urgency of using abundant national resources (land. In essence. groundwater levels rise to reach the natSh ams ul Mulk is former chairman of the Water and Power Development T Authority (WAPDA) of Pakistan. g reed and blood have played their role too. | 64 | . and population) to meet the increasing needs of food g rains. have been not only local inhabitants but also those from far-off countries. This disturbs the dynamic balance of groundwater levels. In times past. An extensive irrig ation infrastructure was the pressing need. the main actors. thereby increasing seepage to groundwater.

Ag ricultural production potential is adversely affected and eventually is totally ended. Warsak Dam. This point is midway in the Indus River’s momentous total journey of about 2. It appeared that the absence of mechanisms to facilitate the exit of excess water—the drainage inf rastructure—was the prime reason for the problem.000 feet) above mean sea level (MSL). With such a drop and the enormous quantities of water flowing through it.000 meters.880 kilometers (km). thereby creating waterlog ged conditions. Remedial measures were theorized.Pakistan’s Water Economy. Rising in the Tibetan Plateau to an elevation of about 5. a productive piece of land becomes a pond. and Chashma Hydro Station (184 MW) have all been commissioned on the Indus River. sediment. and the Relentless Struggle for Sustainability ural g round. Pakistan was losing. An extensive drainage inf rastructure has become an emblem of human intervention in the Indus Basin to sustain productivity. and salt into the Arabian Sea.000 MW for the entire river sy stem. Rough estimates indicate an economically viable and technically feasible Indus River hydrogenation capacity of 35. However.700 megawatts (MW) out of a potential 55. ever y year. concluded. Not until the 1960s was the most important initiative launched to control the hazard of waterlogging and its accompanying menace. The problem increased with the expansion of irrigated areas. Ghazi Barotha Hydropower Station (1. a great potential of hydropower is created.494 meters (almost 18. satisfactory solutions remained somewhat elusive. The total drop of the Indus River in Pakistan surpasses 2. salinity (the presence of salt in freshwater): the Salinity Control And Reclamation Projects (SCARPs). and implemented. on the Kabul River (the western tribu| 65 | . Because of these features. The half century that followed has been the era of SCARPs.450 MW). And by the middle of the 20th century. thousands of productive acres to the waterlogging menace. with the result that the trend of increasing waterlogg ing and salinity in afflicted areas has been reversed. but to a lesser degree. researched. This holds true for its tributaries also. the Indus River System and its Development Infrastructure.478 MW). the Indus River sy stem has attracted the interest of hydropower developers. The Tarbela Hydropower Station (with an installed capacity of 3. the Indus River discharges at Kalabagh into the Indus Plains at an elevation of 214 meters above MSL. Such a process was witnessed in the Indus Basin soon after the introduction of irrig ation facilities. before it throws its burden of water.

and this paper shall provide such a perspective. However. and the momentous events that took place. drainage. The operation of these instruments has not been trouble-free. Some problems were so complex that they even exceeded the frontiers of knowledge. Additionally. And hydel energy is about 30 percent of the total national generation. cent per unit of kilowatt-hour. Because of the enormity of technical details—which cannot be presented due to space limitation—this paper serves as an outline of the digest of the summar y of the problems. The first impounding of the Tarbela reservoir was one such event. The Malakand III Hydro Station is another medium-sized source of power. the attendant issues. and there were serious fears of a breach of the world’s biggest earth-rock dam. This hydel power is very important for Pakistan. The development strategy of the Indus River system has emphasized multipurpose development. There are also a few other hydro stations in operation.S. This story has been extensively covered in technical literature. which bring a total actual installed capacity of 6.Shams Ul Mulk tary of the Indus). Drainage facilities came in the wake of irrigation. a version that is userfriendly has not been attempted. The two major purposes have been supplying water for irrig ation in the Indus Basin and hydropower generation to feed the national power grid. Luck and the input of the best engineering minds saved the day for the basin and for Pakistan. the story is worth telling. compared to about 10 cents per unit for thermal. However. on the Jhelum River (the eastern tributary of the Indus). and memoranda. such doomsday scenarios did not come to pass. Yet even with such limitations. | 66 | . are medium/major hydrogeneration stations. because the production cost of hydel energ y is less than a single U. reports. and hydropower generation— are the main instruments for the production of benefits in these areas. the twin menace of waterlog ging and salinity endang ered the productivity of the Indus Plains to such an extent that a tragic disaster was feared. Major damage occurred. and the Mangla Dam.444 MW in the entire Indus River system. The necessary inf rastructure for the three main activities—irrigation.

With such i mprovements in eng ineering sciences and technolog y. relied on the extensive use of riverwater for domestic and economic purposes. There has been no looking back. Beas. THE IRRIGATION INFRASTRUCTURE The Indus Basin has witnessed the practice of irrigation. However. The world-famous archeolog ical site of Moenjo Daro City. There were three compelling reasons for doing so: • Famine had become a major problem. This system is composed of the Indus River. it was only in the second half of the 19th century that the government of British India (which included present-day Pakistan) took a landmark initiative to develop irrigation works on the Subcontinent. the Jhelum and Chenab rivers (eastern tributaries). the Kabul and Gomal rivers (western tributaries). for thousands of years. in its simplest form.Pakistan’s Water Economy. and Sutlej rivers (allocated to India under the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960). the Hindu Kush. and the Ravi. as well as a concentration of glaciers and snow lakes surpassed only in the polar regions. located on the banks of the Indus River in lower Sindh P rovince. This area marks the origin and birth of the Indus River system. This leap not only led to an expansion of the irrigated area in the basin. Karakorum. but also to an extension of the frontiers of knowledge in irrigation engineering. are located. • There was a need to resettle the dissolved armies of the indig enous rulers who had been replaced by colonial administrations. and the Relentless Struggle for Sustainability PHYSICAL SETTING The western Himalayas. and • The irrigation system offered great potential for generating revenue. and their associated mountain ranges are located in the north and northwest of Pakistan. the Indus River System and its Development Infrastructure. the 20th century | 67 | . It is in this area where some of the world’s hig hest peaks.

By that year. The flows of the western rivers (Indus. the irrigated area had grown to 18 mi llion ha. For instance. Jhelum. Table 1 shows that the flow variation between summer and winter.9 111.Shams Ul Mulk became a landmark period in the histor y of irrigation development in the Indus Basin. the demand of agriculture—which consumes 95–97 percent of river flows—is two to one between summer and winter. This tempo of irrig ation development was maintained after independence.4 135. 1968 -19 96) Kharif (summer) Rabi (winter) Annual Total Minimum 10% Pro bability 50% Probability 90% Probability Maximum 94. this project was an achievement unparalleled in the world.0 37.16 million hectares (ha) to provide assured supplies. is about five to one.1 159. The colonial rule of Great Britain came to a close in Aug ust 1947. 6 20. Table 1: Western River Flows in Million Cubic Me ters (PostStorage Period. It is important to note that the hydrology of the Indus River system is highly variable.7 32.0 2 7.8 206.0 19. season-wise and year-wise. Sukkur Barrage was completed in 1932.75 million ha. | 68 | .8 189.1 16 2 . which explains why there are seasonal surpluses (in summer) and shortag es (in winter). on average.9 113 .8 182. and Chenab) allocated to Pakistan under the 1960 treaty with India are shown in Table 1.0 Source: Water Resource Management Directorate. WAPDA. A single barrage feeding seven canals and commanding a cultivable area of 3. In the half century ending in the year 2000. However. the area irrig ated in Pakistan’s Indus Basin had grown to 10.5 136. resulting in the partitioning of the Indus Basin between Pakistan and India.

96 million ha Annual irrigated area 16.19 million ha Water A nnual average flow in the Indus River system 162. It is estimated that these tubewells extract about 60 billion cubic meters (bcm) of water from the aquifer every year. canals.2 bcm Infrastructure Major storage sites 3 Barrages (diversion dams) 18 Inter-river link canals 16 Irrigation canals 64. Almost 700. The list of the inf rastructure of irrigation is given in Table 2. The quality of water in the aquifer is. however. Tubewells have taken the place of traditional wells in modern times. and other surface water bodies are the normal sources of recharge for this aquifer. were thus added to the inventory of national physical assets. Under the terms of the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960. Where it is useable. Pakistan is oblig ed to construct storage to compensate for the water lost from allocating the three eastern rivers (Ravi. it has been used for irrigation throug h traditional wells.1 billion cubic meters (bcm) Extraction from Indus Aquifer 60. and Sutlej) to India. Rain. barrages. The implementation of the Indus Waters Treaty interlinked the western rivers so effectively with the then-existing irrig ation infrastructure that the whole of Pakistan’s Indus Basin—with its dams. contiguous irrigated sy stem. very variable. The Mang la Dam. and the Relentless Struggle for Sustainability The Indus Aquifer is a large body of groundwater underly ing the vast Indus Plains.000 tubewells have been installed over about four decades by landowners in the basin.000 (estimated) | 69 | .000 Irrigation tubewells (private) 700. Beas. Table 2: Land and Water Resources and Related Infrastructure in Indus Basin Land Tot al cropped area 21.000 km long Irrigation water courses 10 0.Pakistan’s Water Economy.35 million hectares (ha) Canals commanded area 13. followed by the Tarbela Dam. the Indus River System and its Development Infrastructure. The estimated annual inflow into the aquifer is about 70 bcm from all sources.0 bcm Storage capacity in reservoirs 19. rivers. and cultivated/irrigated land—has become the world’s largest integrated.

Shams Ul Mulk This integrated system has become a major national asset and earned itself the honorific title of “The Indus Food Machine. this balance stabilized around 20 feet below the g round. Doomsday Scenario A system of well-fed rivers flowing for millions of years has a natural corollary: the development of an underground water deposit. In the active flood plains in the vicinity of streams. had initially been established at a depth exceeding 70 feet from the surface in most of the basin—before the construction of irrigation projects. salinity is somewhat of a g reater menace. The dynamic balance between inflows into the aquifer. and eventually land becomes barren. The Twin Menace—Wate rlogging and Salinity Generally speaking. When this saturation zone nears the surface. The normal remedy for waterlogg ing is to lower the water table (the water level of groundwater deposits) through drainage infrastructure. However. annual variations depending on whether the year was drier or wetter than the long-term average. and its disposal into return flows in the natural drainage outlets. There were. Hence. as construction began on a larg e number of irrig ation weirs/ barrages and canals. In the middle of the 19th century.” However. waterlogging is a condition in which soi l profiles are saturated with water near or in the zone of plant roots. the salts carried and contained in the water in soluble form cannot evaporate. water | 70 | . This is the beginning of the process of salinity. new elements were introduced into the water balance: a massive canal system. it is not problem-free. These are the Indus water dispute and the twin menace of waterlogging and salinity. reclamation of saline lands is somewhat more difficult. and so the salts remain on the surface. Thus the Indus Aquifer came into being. However. and consequently the roots do not obtain nutrients for their g row th. Two problems surpass all others in their overarching and overwhelming potential to disable the system. the water starts evaporating. nevertheless. This paper will focus on the latter problem. Plant growth is arrested.

including the establishment of the Drainage Board in 1918. and extended irrig ation into traditionally non-irrig able areas. the Land Reclamation Board in 1940. the Waterlogg ing Board in 1928. Massive quantities of seepage into underground areas without drainage infrastructure led to a rise in the water table in most areas of the basin. As the water table rose to only 10 feet below the surface. the Irrigation Research Laboratory in 1925. This included the construction of pilot projects to test the remedial measures proposed at various stages—such as the creation of drains. The first response was to monitor water table levels in the areas comin g under irrigation. the reduction of the drainable surplus by restricting flows in the irrigation canals. or similar materials. Pakistan had to take serious measures to safeguard the survival of the important national asset that the irrigation infrastructure had become. the Indus River System and its Development Infrastructure. The problem was not well understood. Remedial Measures The problem of waterlogging was noticed for the first ti me in 1857. the problem of waterlogging was very serious because it was accompanied by soil salinity. and the pumping out of g roundwater. the lining of canals (this practice involves covering canal bottoms and sides with concrete.Pakistan’s Water Economy. and the Land Reclamation Directorate | 71 | . Technical studies were undertaken to fill in gaps in the needed knowledge. brick. Areas with depressed surface levels became ponds. crop health and productivity became adversely affected. It was noticed that in the river valley s where the natural water table levels were not too deep. The problem was then observed in other areas irrigated by canals. and the Relentless Struggle for Sustainability courses. Steps for streng thening institutional capacity were also taken. which reduces water seepage f rom the canals). By the middle of the 20th century the problem had become so massive that Pakistan was losing about 100. A doomsday scenario was now in the making for the Indus Basin. the area became a wasteland. when the construction of weir-fed canals continued in the basin.000 acres of productive irrigated land every year to the twin menace. At five feet. in the non-irrig able area of the Sirhind Canal (fed by the Sutlej River). And this was a rapid rise—about one to two feet per year in general.

These steps and initiatives had little impact. Pakistan’s Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) was established. A real battle with the twin menace had now begun. its elusive success in protecting a valuable national asset f rom the debilitating ef fects of waterlog ging and salinity. and following numerous studies and field experiments. Seepage reduction measures. through an act of parliament. Water and Power Development Authority of Pakistan The WAPDA Act’s preamble states that | 72 | .Shams Ul Mulk Table 3: Status of Waterlogging and Salinity in Indus Basin in Mid-20th Century (Pre-WAPDA Period) Gross area 16 million hectares Area with water table less than 10 feet 37. however. an effective drainage system appeared to be a necessary remedial measure. had created a major crisis for Pakistan’s most important economic sector. therefore bringing experienced manpower and both indigenous and foreig n expertise to the new agency.and power-related institutional architecture.4 % in 1945. the Groundwater Development Organization was merged with WAPDA. also appeared to be helpful. The installation of tubewells helped in checking the rise of water tables and in providing additional water supplies for irrigation. By the time Pakistan attained its independence. 5 % Surface salinity (moderately saline) 34.8% Surface salinity (severely saline) 16. Af ter almost a century of using an extended irrigation system. The strateg y Pakistan chose to tackle the crisis was to redesign its water. it was concluded at this stage that while all the aspects of the menace had not been understood. to ensure the country’s national survival through the crisis. coupled with the continued Indus water dispute with neighboring India. like the lining of canals. and the situation by the middle of the 20th century was as depicted in Table 3. Fortuitously.

The use of tubewells for the extraction of groundwater for drainage or irrigation had been well-known. one for the upper basin. . WAPDA’s manpower was deputed to work with the consultants. The new concept of SCARPs provided an answer to this dilemma. .Pakistan’s Water Economy. progress toward controlling waterlogging and eradicating salinity was under close watch by the g overnment of Pakistan. and marked the beginning of the Salinity Control And Reclamation Projects. This was an effective first step for the transfer of technology. The optimal productivity in canal irrigated areas had been g reatly impeded by capacity constraints in the canals. and it proved very useful. or SC A RP. . WAPDA presented a report titled “Programme for Waterlogging and Salinity Control in Irrigated Areas of . specifying the powers and duties of WAPDA. In a meeting chaired by the president in 1961.” and then follows the provisions of the Act. In Chapter III of the WAPDA Act. In view of the criticality of the problem. | 73 | . the Southern Indus Plains (SIP ). . starting with the conducting of studies. and it was this group of WAPDA’s staf f that provided the ag ency with the capacity to undertake the g ig antic task ly ing ahead. which handicapped the sy stem f rom meeting consumptive needs at the critical time of plant growth. In May 1961. However. it is hereby enacted as under . the concept of SCARPs involved controlled extraction from groundwater in conjunction with surface water— thereby providing supplemental supplies that considerably mitigated the shortag e of canal supplies. WAPDA took immediate steps toward controlling waterlogg ing and reclaiming salted lands. WAPDA was directed to prepare a national plan for eradication of the twin menace. . . the Northern Indus Plains (NIP ). . and another for the lower basin.” This report contained a 10-year remedial program. Pakistan. and the Relentless Struggle for Sustainability “Whereas it is expedient to provide for the unified and coordinated development of water and power resources of . the Indus River System and its Development Infrastructure. Pakistan. WAPDA proceeded to hire international consultants. The concept of SCARPs was an innovation. which in turn enabled the optimum production of agricultural commodities. Section 8(2)(iv) includes “the prevention of waterlog ging and reclamation of waterlogged and salted lands” as one of its duties.

five SCARPs that were under implementation have been completed—bringing the total number of SCARPs to 68 and the covered area to 7.4 to 1. covering 0.3 to 0. the combined group produced the Lower Indus Report in 1966. Tubewells were only to serve drainage purposes because of the dominance of the saline aquifer.864 million ha. The major drainage infrastructure was to be open drains of 54. supported by desk studies. | 74 | . supplements comprising 37 volumes and 11 map boxes.500 km-length—the main and supplemental drains. and a development atlas. This was one of the highest points of excellence in the entire endeavor of engineering. The project plan divided the upper basin into 10 SCARPs.Shams Ul Mulk For the lower Indus basin. depending on the availability of resources. the firms M/S Hunting Technical Services and Mott MacDonald of Pakistan were engaged. SCARPs have remained under implementation. An impressive inventory of the drainage inf rastructure has been created. one after the other. but eventually came under modification and revision. This study comprised the main twovolume report. 63 SCARPs had been completed. which with assistance from WAPDA staff produced a six-volume project report in 1967. By June 2004. Since then. were of a professional standard that few in the world could have matched. which improved irrigation intensities in the project area—was retained. covering an area of 7. The original strateg y of SCARPs survived for awhile. supporting reports numbering 12 volumes along with six map boxes. ranging f rom 0.8 million ha each. The SIP divided the lower basin plains into 16 projects. The SCARP concept—the conjunctive use of tubewell water extracted from groundwater with surface water. Working with WAPDA-deputed manpower.6 million ha each. Implementation of SCARPs From the 1960s to the first decade of the 21st century.86 million ha. spanning half a century. but also the field investigations and studies. Not only the reports. The NIP was allocated to M/S Tipton Kalmbach.

the action plans have to be fi ne-tuned. Secondly. According ly. Thi rdly. the science of i nteraction between water and land (and the waterlogging and salin ity that can result) has not been well understood in al l its proce sses. Mistake s have thus been repeated. as show n in Table 4. three large storage reservoirs with a capacity of 19. Table 4: Comparative Status of Waterlogging and Salinity in Indus Basin Water used in irrigation Year (billion cubic meters) Gross area (million From From hectares) groundTot al rivers water 83 2 85 16 37. the le sson appears to be that while the strategy is sound. Thi s additionality has overburdened the aquifer with even more seepag e inflow. However.1 Area waterlogged (percent) Area saline (percent) 1960 2008 130 60 190 21 12 25 | 75 | . and the partial failures. and the Relentless Struggle for Sustainability Comments and Challenges Ahead Battles have been won. According ly. There i s an urgent need to fil l in these gaps. Firstly.2 billion cubic meters have been added to the system. in some cases it continues to be so even today. but the war on waterlogging and salinity is not yet over. Mon itor ing and evaluation have not been conducted with regularity. consider ing the odds. And that would be possible if the knowledge gaps that conti nue to exist are given a high priority in the national research agenda. rather than becoming usef ul source s of correction.Pakistan’s Water Economy. there has been a clear improvement in the situation. the partial successes. Given the enormous amount of work already done. the use of riverwater for irrigation increased from about 83 bill ion cubic meters per year in 1968 to about 130 billion cubic meters i n the 1990s. ef forts have not been supported by an effective and responsive program of research.5 51. project desig ns have occasionally lacked effective responses. the Indus River System and its Development Infrastructure. And there are reasons for thi s lack of finality.

In it s first phase. Before independence in 1947.444 MW | 76 | Installed capacity which sited Indus River Jhelum River Kabul River Indus River Indus River Indus River (MW) 3. Tarbela Power House has now acquired an installed capacit y of 3. it had an installed capacity of only 1. built on the Kabul River. However.1 MW. sited on the Lower Bari Doab Canal in Punjab Province.8 percent of t he total national installed capacity as of the year 2007.000 MW. The other was the Remala Hydro Station. Table 5: Hydro Power Stations in the Public Sector Name of station Type of structure River on Tar b ela Mangla Warsak Chashma Ghazi Barotha Nine small hydro stations Total: 6.4 50 89 Dam/reservoir Dam/reservoir Dam/reservoir Low diversion dam Diversion/low head Power Channels . Table 5 shows the installed capacity of the major hydro stations in Pakist an. its sustainability is conditional on effective drainage infrastructure t hat in turn needs electric power. Commissioned in 1925. Next was t he famous Tarbela Dam. By July 1994. and another 83 MW were added in 1980. Mangla Dam was the first one. only two hydro facilities existed in present-day Pakistan. which is 19.478 MW. located on the Upper Swat Canal in NWFP. With periodic additions up to November 1992. capacity had increased to 1.478 1. generat ion capacity was 160 MW. each with 175 MW capacity.6 megawatts and had been completed in 1938. The real push. commissioned in 1960. The initial two units of 100 MW capacity were commissioned in July 1967.0 00 243 184 1. The first major hydro facilit y established in Pakist an was the Warsak Hydro Power St ation. were commissioned in April 1977. however.Shams Ul Mulk HYDROPOWER INFRASTRUCTURE The Indus irrigation system is the world’s largest contiguous irrigation network. along with the Warsak Dam. It had an installed generation capacity of 9. The first t wo units of Tarbela Power House. One was t he Malakand Hydel Station. came from the super-large dams built under the provisions of the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960.

This has almost equalled the annual winter flows of the Indus River. and distribution of electric power—had to eng age all the adverse odds head-on. were used as diversion tunnels during the diversion stage of the dam construction. | 77 | .478 MW. the Tarbela Dam project and its problems provide a usef ul case study for describing Pakistan’s hydro power infrastructure. provides about 54 percent of Pakistan’s total hydro capacity. The outlet works include five tunnels in the right abutment. About 143 million cubic meters (190 million cubic yards) of earth and rock have been used on its embankments. The dam’s power house has 10 units of 175 MW generating capacity and 4 units of 432 MW capacity. and two spi llways with a combined discharge capacity of 42. transmission. When the installation of its current capacity was completed in 1993-94. For many decades after its completion in 1974.7 meters (45 feet). however. measured at Tarbela. For such reasons. this project has provided almost 12 billion cubic meters of additional water for irrig ation every year. with the strength of the best engineering minds of the world. as a single source. it has been rated as the largest earth-rock dam in the world. In other words. with internal diameters of 13.50 mi llion cubic feet/second). With this and with luck. Later they were to become the power tunnels. WAPDA succeeded in securing the safety of the project and ensuring the continuation of its enormous benefits. threatening the very life of the project.74 kilometers long. Tarbela Dam Project Tarbela Dam is a rock and earth-fill dam sited on the Indus River. making up the total of 3.Pakistan’s Water Economy. the Indus River System and its Development Infrastructure. the Tarbela Dam project has faced major adversity.470 cubic meters/ second (equivalent to 1. and the Relentless Struggle for Sustainability Tarbela. this one source comprised 36 percent of the total national capacity (which also included thermal power). It is 143 meters high (470 feet) and 2. Tarbela is thus the most important hydro facility in Pakistan. Tarbela Dam has duplicated the Indus River for its winter supplies. The outlet tunnels. In addition to its contribution to the national electric power sector. In fact. It was here that WAPDA—the national agency for development.

Shams Ul Mulk

Unprecedented Features of the Project At the dam site, the Indus River flows in a broad, flat valley as a stream. The bedrock surface at the dam site is 220 meters deep for about 1.8 km, going along the dam axis from the left bank. For the remaining length of 610 meters, the bedrock has formed a shelf, and it is here where the dam embankment was founded on rock. For the remaining leng th of about 1.8 km, the dam embankment had to be founded on alluvial deposits as deep as 220 meters. These alluvial deposits are skip-graded (that is, the deposits consist of materials of varying sizes, with some intermediary sizes completely absent—and this lack of mid-sized material creates space for water to percolate), and in places where the gravel component was not choked by fi ne sand. These site conditions represented red signals, and were identified as such during the investig ation of the dam foundations. One basic decision was made to use the observational method in the desig n of the embankments. In such an approach, the structure in question is very closely monitored, which gives the operator the type of actual information needed for the safety of the structure and its operation. Seepage control throug h the dam foundations was understood to be the core issue. There were now two options in terms of how to proceed: construct a deep g rout curtain, or build a long upstream impervious blanket. The blanket was chosen for the following reasons: • Cost economy • Facility of inspection access during construction • Safety considerations during seismic activity • Potential of prog ressive improvement due to sedimentation, which helps prevent seepage. This blanket was to be an extension of the impervious sloping core; the core was 5 meters thick at top and 38 meters at the base. The connecting impervious blanket had a thickness of 12.8 meters at the dam toe, and a length of 2,286 meters. A line of relief wells was provided at the downstream toe of the main dam, to safely collect the seeped water for disposal. It was expected that maximum seepage throug h the foundations of the main dam would be 4.1 cubic meters/second.
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Pakistan’s Water Economy, the Indus River System and its Development Infrastructure, and the Relentless Struggle for Sustainability

First Impounding of Reservoir The fi lling of the Tarbela reservoir was started on July 1, 1974, just as scheduled. This new phase necessitated the termination of the diversion stage of the project by closing the diversion tunnels located in the right abutment. The beginning was inauspicious. The central intake gate of Tunnel 2 g ot stuck during the closure operation. This led to highly unstable hydraulic conditions in Tunnel 2 and its vicinity. A few days later, huge chunks of concrete and rubble were visibly coming out of the tunnels. Damages appeared obvious, but the severity and extent were not to become known until later. Yet this matter notw ithstanding, the reservoir kept on rising. With the rise in the reservoir level, seepag e coming through the main dam alluvial foundation was becoming a matter of concern. It was excessive, and becoming more so with every passing day. By August 21—that is, seven weeks af ter the start—the reservoir was filled to 80 percent of maximum design depth. At that point, the seepage through the foundations was measured at 8.5 cubic meters/ second, which was more than double the maximum expected. The risk of continued seepage, coupled with the damage to Tunnel 2’s g ates and the huge chunks of concrete flow ing out of the tunnel at its visible outlet, was no longer acceptable. It was decided to terminate the filling and resort, instead, to an emergency empty ing out of the reservoir. This was a blessing in disguise. The true condition of Tunnel 2 now became visible, and it was a horrible scene. The stuck gate at the Tunnel 2 entrance had generated so much cavitation damage that 76 meters of the upstream part of Tunnel 2 had collapsed. In consequence, serious damage had been inflicted on the outlet gate chambers and concrete chutes of the sti lling basins of Tunnels 3 and 4. About 765,000 cubic meters of overly ing material (at the top) and bedrock (at the bottom) at the tunnel intake area were eroded and swept throug h the tunnel. More was to come. With the complete emptying of the reservoir, the supposedly impervious blanket on the riverbed became visible. It had 362 sinkholes f rom 0.3 to 12 meters in diameter, along with 140 cracks. These damages were enormous, and, for Pakistan, almost a crippling blow. But there was no time for mourning. Work to repair the
| 79 |

Shams Ul Mulk

damage had to start immediately. And this was done. The most urgent task was to carry out a detailed site investigation, so that the repair work could be designed in a professional manner. The time limitation was critical; every thing had to be ready before the next flood season. All these targets were met. The blanket was repaired. Every year during filling, a reduced number of sinkholes would appear, and by 1988 the last one had disappeared. Seepage throug h the foundations followed the same pattern of reduction with time. By 1988, there was no seepage at all. The damages inflicted on Tunnel 2 and on the stilling basin of Tunnel 3 were repaired with improved materials and technology. When the next flood season came in July 1975, it appeared as if nothing had happened a year earlier.

CONCLUSION
The Tarbela Dam project was an undertaking of unprecedented size and technical complexity. Its completion, in physical terms, was an achievement truly reflective of the jewel of the crown. But a more appropriate description of this gigantic project would be the miracle at Tarbela—and particularly because of its repairs, repairs in which electric power production never diverted from its orig inal schedule. International records of physical and qua ntitative progress were surpassed without compromising quality standards of work. For example, the rig ht abutment, which was substantially eroded away, was rebui lt with Roller Compacted Concrete (Rollcrete). The quantity placed and compacted for this purpose was equivalent to two-thirds (67 percent) of the concrete used for Warsak Dam—a mass concrete g ravity dam that is 250 feet high and 460 feet long. Incredibly, the placement of the Rollcrete for rebuilding the intake area of the Tarbela tunnels was done in a period of just 42 day s. Even once the dam was deemed repaired and safe, the challenges did not end at Tarbela. Sinkholes in the auxiliary embankment were followed by one in the main dam—though these have now been stabilized and repaired. The depositing of sediment in the Tarbela reservoir—at the rate of 0.6 million tons on average every day—and the movement of the sediment delta toward the intake area of the power tunnels are sources of concern.
| 80 |

the project is serving the nation w ith water supplies for ag riculture and cheap power. and the Relentless Struggle for Sustainability However.Pakistan’s Water Economy. The lesson is that human intervention in processes of nature exacts a price. and integrity. perseverance. | 81 | . commitment. the Indus River System and its Development Infrastructure. and it is being closely monitored. And the currency of payment is knowledge.

Water. The true mag nitude of Pakistan’s “water scarcity” is made more striking when one considers that in 2007. 7). | 82 | T . Table 1. ag riculture was almost wholly dependent on the world’s largest contiguous irrigation sy stem to irrigate 19. and Corruption in Pakistan Fi S a K a n e l h he World Bank. A per capita annual water availability of 1. 1). 65. 2008c).16). Governance. 178). in an exhaustive 2005 analysis of the Pakistani water situation.61 percent of the workforce. and w ill be waterscarce by 2035.100m per capita annually in 2006 (WWF 2007. According to some reports. the story of Pakistani agriculture is a story of declining f arm-gate water availability throughout its history (Bandaragoda 1996). employs 43.000 cubic meters (m 3 ) is believed to be low enough to “impede development and harm human health” (Faruqui 2004. In the most optimistic scenario. it is more vulnerable to supply shocks than it would be if its irrigation were drawn f rom multi-river systems. in one important sense. Agriculture accounts for about 93 percent of the country’s water use (WWF 2007. Indeed. Pakistan will fall to that level in 2035 3 (see Figure I). on par with those of the Sahara Desert. declared Pakistan to be one of the world’s most arid and water-stressed (soon to be water-scarce) countries. Pakistan went from being relatively waterabundant in 1981 to water-stressed by about 2000.07 million hectares of land (FBS 2008a. and 1 contributes 21. Since Pakistan’s irrig ation is based solely on the Indus River and its tributaries. Pakistan reached 1. Compounding the dif ficulty is Feisal Khan is assistant professor in the Department of Economics at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.8 percent of Pakistan’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (FBS 2008b. As shown in Figure I.

less access to inputs. the fact that the Pakistani Punjab’s wheat yields are approximately half those of Indian Punjab (in both absolute terms and per unit of water used) attests to the inefficiency of the Pakistani Punjab’s agriculture— and yet the Punjab represents the breadbasket of Pakistan. Pakistan’s wheat yield (a vital staple in Pakistan) is extremely low in both absolute and relative terms.Water. the situation is still grave. Governance. considering the importance of water to Pakistan’s economy and its relative scarcity. So. water conservation and use-ef ficiency should be high on Pakistan’s list of national priorities. It is understandable that wheat yields in the Pakistani Punjab would be lower than those in the United States (due to lower capital intensity in the production process. Unfortunately. Figure I: Declining Per Capita Water Availabili ty in Pakistan (meters 3 /capita/year) 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 Water stress Water scarcity 1981 1998 2003 2010 2025 2035 2050 Source: World Bank (2005). | 83 | . misgovernance. Despite recent attempts by the Pervez Musharraf administration at wide-ranging reforms. and so on). However. A major factor behind the severity of the Pakistani water crisis is a historical legacy of bad policies. As shown in Fig ure II. they are not. and corruption. and Corruption in Pakistan the fact that Pakistan does not make efficient use of the resources it does have.

thereby forestalling another Indian attempt to cripple Pakistan by shutting the downstream flow of the Sutlej (Gazdar 2005). By the time of independence in 1947. Pakistan already boasted an extensive and well-developed irrigation structure with provincial irrigation departments of considerable technical expertise and professional ability. HISTORICAL CONTEXT While there was a centuries-old tradition of irrigation works in the Subcontinent. The following pages seek to identify some of the key policy. USA Bhakra. Pakistan 0. The Punjab Irrig ation Department rapidly dug the 100-mile Bombanwala-RaviBedian-D ipalpur canal to divert water from the Ravi to the Sutlej River.00 0. Shortly after independence.50 1. Pakistan.Feisal Khan Figure II: Comparison of Yields and Water Productivity of Wheat in USA. | 84 | . this technical competence was demonstrated when. and corruption issues relevant to the current water crisis in Pakistan. governance.50 Imperial Valley.” 2 India shut down the water flow to Pakistan in April 1948. India Punjab.00 Source: International Water Management Institute (2003). after the lapse of the irrigation “standstill agreement. and India 8 6 4 2 0 tons/ha yield kg/m 3 1. work on what became the Pakistani irrig ation system was started by the British colonial administration.

Governance. Thus the power of irrigation department officials to unilaterally acquire private land for “public purposes”. and generally to micromanage down to the individual smallfarmer level (e. to levy fines and deny farmers irrigation water. This view of irrigation as a purely technical issue best left to those with the requisite scientific qualifications continued long af ter independence. and that colonial irrig ation policy was desig ned as much to directly control the native population as to improve agriculture. and top-down” problems that required a hig h level of engineering expertise to resolve (Wescoat. citing considerable historical research. to dictate the size and location of the field’s irrig ation outlet and the time of water delivery) made it clear that irrigation department officials were “policing agents of the state” w ith considerable unaccountable discretionary power to extort money from small farmers (Mustafa 2001. “the legal lack of rights for the water users enshrined in the Act” was f urther strengthened by government of Pakistan amendments that stripped the Act of the extremely limited redress available to water users—i. on the contrary. see 826-830 for more details). farmers (Mustafa 2001. The colonial-era Canal and Drainage Act of 1873 gave the state all rights and authority over water issues. scientific. and Mustafa 2000.. enabling the powers of irrigation of ficials to stay unchecked. large landowners. with virtually all decisions made internally and without any user/beneficiar y input into the decision-making process. Daanish Mustaf a (2001. | 85 | . and was in sync with the prevailing irrigation paradig m worldwide. water issues were seen as “large-scale.g. Furthermore. 820 and 828). and Corruption in Pakistan The guiding ethos of the colonial-era irrigation department was a rigidly hierarchical one that focused on technical administration and water project construction. However. After World War II. The Canal and Drainag e Act has remained the legal foundation for irrigation in post-colonial Pakistan as well.. were (and still are) free from this kind of harassment and extortion and. to declare farmers to be in violation of a wide range of rules. of ten ordered officials about with impunity. 824) concludes that a key ai m of the Act was to consolidate the power of loyalist large landowners. Halvorson. with greater political influence.e.Water. Furthermore. 830. 396).

and Chenab rivers. divided into a Water Wing and a Power Wing (i. Jhelum. the riparian disputes with India were resolved with the signing of the World Bank-brokered Indus Waters Treaty in 1960. overall benefits from Tarbela Dam. At the height of the problem in the 1970s. 9-140). the Mangla on the Jhelum (completed in 1967) and the Tarbela on the Indus (completed in 1974). hydroelectric power generation). the military government of General Ayub Khan established WAPDA.. the Water and Power Development Authority. 9). salty grave” (World Bank 2005.15 million hectares in 1951 to 18.1 mi llion hectares virtually unreclaimable and over 40. the World Bank warned that Pakistan was seemingly “doomed to a water y.e. 415). As part of the overall water-use planning policy. These were both dual-purpose dams (meant to provide irrig ation and hydroelectric power) and enabled the rapid expansion of both electricity provision and irrigated ag riculture. Among the first accomplishments of the IBP were two very larg e dams. Pakistan. These were highly successful projects with substantial economic benefits for the Pakistani economy. planned and implemented the Indus Basin Project (IBP). for 1975-1998. Currently.Feisal Khan In 1959. which was previously a seabed and so has much hig her natural soil salt content (World Bank 2005. 45). Approximately 6. Balakrishnan. However. with 1. | 86 | . which gave Pakistan full rights over the Indus. and India the Ravi. 3 WAPDA. the expansion of irrigation has resulted in serious waterlogg ing and salinity problems. kistan’s massive irrig aPa tion expansion has almost doubled the irrig ated area: from 9. The problem is much worse in lower Sindh. and Wambia 2004. Beas. as the lower riparian state. 14).000 hectares lost annually ( Dawn 2006b). received about 75 percent of the Indus River Basin (IRB) water and India the remainder. to plan and implement an overall development strategy for Pakistan’s water resources.3 million hectares are currently affected by a salinity problem to some degree. For example. estimates are that soil salinity reduces Pakistani ag ricultural output by approximately 25 percent overall (Dinar.1 million hectares in 1999–2000 (Hussain 2004. and Sutlej rivers. exceeded initial feasibility estimates by 25 percent (World Bank 2005.

get lavish Pakistan government and external donor funding.Water. the irrigation infrastructure | 87 | . despite good news on some fronts. multi-year projects designed to make land usable for agriculture again.” the waterlogging and salinity problems would at least appear to be stabilized within acceptable parameters. and Corruption in Pakistan The main response to this dual crisis of salinity and waterlogging was the initiation of extensive land reclamation projects. However. the overall water situation is likely to deteriorate f urther unless drastic steps are taken. this is obviously not uniformly deposited across the irrigated area. Both of these solutions have led to other problems that w ill be discussed later in this paper. For example. the entire Pakistani irrigation system is characterized by grossly inadequate infrastructure investment. While some key projects. thereby lowering the water table. BAD POLICIES. especially in maintenance and repair. 46). leaving an annual salt deposit of approximately 15 million tons on land. multibi llion-dollar. or about one ton per hectare annually (World Bank 2005. with most of the budgetary allocation going to pay for a bloated water bureaucracy. First. BAD GOVERN ANCE. while far from “solved. and LBOD. such as the Mangla and Tarbela dams. Nonetheless. These projects were only partially successful in that the SCARP returned about 10 million tons of salt annually to the sea and the LBOD 4 million. in Punjab Province alone. Governance. the bulk of the system is starved of even basic maintenance funds. Waterlogg ing was reduced by extensive use of tubewells to pump water out of the ground. AND CORRUPTION Bad Policies Three policies are highlighted here. 5 Essentially. The Salinity Control and Reclamation Project (SCARP) and the Left Bank Outf all Drain (LBOD ) were both g ig antic. the LBOD then took the now-saline water to the ocean. 6 However. SCARP. the solution to the salinity problem was increased use of irrigation (mainly groundwater) to flush the salts below the crop root zone.

4). By 2005. $ 20 billion. 8). The actual abiana water ( rate) collected was Rs. 58-59). to ensure full water cost recovery.” where all basic maintenance is literally ig nored until the infrastructure is teetering on collapse (World Bank 2005. which has the country’s highest level of municipal service provision.S. Islamabad. $ 0. Meanwhile.1. The Bank characterizes Pakistani government policy as “Build/Neglect/ Rebuild. simple operations and maintenance would require a 0. In 1991. The actual replacement and maintenance budget was about U. While there could be many reasons for the sy stematic underinvestment in basic water treatment facilities | 88 | . ix). 60)—a quality so low that the canal irrigation system operates at approximately 35-40 percent of rated capacity (Dinar. 75 percent of water samples tested in 2005 were “unsafe for human consumption” (W WF 2007. 415). delivers services of a low quality” (World Bank 2005. and Wambia 2004. pesticides and other contaminants at levels exceeding World Health Organization guide2 lines were found in 70 percent of samples taken in a 1.000 tektm s area in the Punjab. but had penetrated only to the shallow aquifers. 5). A 2002 survey of Pakistan’s 10 largest urban areas (producing 60 percent of the country’s total urban wastewater) indicated that only 7.S.S. user fees (again according to international “best practice” benchmarks) should be 1 percent of the value of infrastructure stock. combined with ag ricultural runoff (fertilizer and pesticides). Balakrishnan.02 billion. are approaching critical levels.150/hectare (World Bank 2005. Thus “[m]uch of what is built is c not being maintained. even in Pakistan’s capital. $ 0. there were traces found in deep aquifers as well (WWF 2007. and 76 percent of the total irrigation budget was spent on personnel (World Bank 2005. The resulting pollution levels in groundwater and water way s are unsurprisingly high. which (using international “best practice” benchmarks) would require an annual replacement and maintenance budg et of U. Again unsurprisingly. Urban areas are also characterized by g ross underinvestment in basic facilities. and that which does still function. which in Punjab works out to Rs. 7 Even ignoring capital recovery.5 percent abiana harge.6 billion.7 percent of urban wastewater was treated and that household and industrial waste were mixed together and directly discharged into the nearest waterway (WWF 2007. 58). and.800/hectare for water.Feisal Khan is valued at an estimated U. for example.

interprovincial water disputes—which usually pit P unjab against some combination of the smaller provinces of Sindh (the lower riparian in the Indus system).000 in 1990 to 106. and out| 89 | .S. Baluchistan. and sugar refining contributes substantially to Pakistan’s industrial pollution problem. and overwhelming riverwater diversion into agriculture and away from other water-dependent sources—have exacerbated a bad water situation. In addition. and coastal fishing. Thus. Governance. Bad Governance Given the perennial irrig ation water shortage in Pakistan. and so on). it is the major cause. 50). This is because sug arcane is an extremely water-intensive crop that is particularly sensitive to saline growing conditions.000 hectares in 1977 to 160. $100 million worth of fish and shrimp exports have been hurt by the destruction of the mangrove forests—which are necessary for the coastal fish and shrimp reproductive cycle. Finally. and the Northwest Frontier Province—are chronic. duplicity. the mangrove forests in the Indus Delta have declined from 263. poor policy choices—sy stematic underinvestment in basic infrastructure. the Indus Delta mangrove forests. the consequences of this underinvestment are obvious. as discussed in Box I on the following pag e. the massive diversion of river waters into agriculture has led to a dramatic decline in the lower Sindh wetlands. found virtually everywhere in the Indus and its tributaries before the 1930s. For example. and Corruption in Pakistan (misplaced budgetary priorities.000 in 2003 (World Bank 2005. and decades of neg lect have allowed major problems to reach near-catastrophic levels. as well as taken a horrible toll on the biodiversity and fauna of the entire Indus Basin ecosystem.Water. poor oversight. Pakistan’s U. While declining freshwater flow (and the consequent flow upstream of seawater) is not the sole reason for this decline. Each party accuses the other of bad faith. The blind f reshwater Indus dolphin. promoting sugarcane cultivation and sugar mills in Pakistan has had a g reatly negative impact upon an already precarious water situation. Second. non-realization of the importance of wastewater treatment. now exists in only six isolated and shrinking populations. excessive cultivation of water-intensive crops.

T he following data on water consump tion for major crop s in Pakistan show how it compares with the rest of Pakistani agriculture (WWF 2002. but uses so much more water than wheat. Ittefaq Foundries. to do so. is one of the world ’s largest and highest-cost producers of sugar because it is politically exp edient. and many countries average well over double Pakistan’s yield (WWF 2005b. Reputedly.06-0.7 times more than cotton. 41 8 1 . and 92 p ercent juice recovery from cane instead of the world average of 98 percent (due to poor production technology). 5 0 8 2. Since Pakistan has recently experienced a major wheat shortage. was a major equipment supplier for sugar mills. $0. grown on 1. Table 1. shifting from sugarcane to wheat would help reduce both Pakistan’s water use and dep endence upon wheat imports.” A substantial portion of this increase took place between 1990-2004. Sugarcane yield is extremely sensitive to water salinity. 18-19/kilogram versus Rs.000 7 0.554. 2. per hectare sown. The World Wildlife Fund (2005b. Since sugarcane is grown on approximately 5 percent of Pakistan’s irrigated area (i.1 percen t lower sucrose yield for each day in transit with an average transit time of 4-5+ days). the world average is 62. makin g Pakistan the world’s 10th-largest sugar-producing nation (Ilovo 2008. wholesale) price in 2005 of Rs..5) and producing about five million tons of sugar. 46).8 times more water than wheat. while many countries average 12-14 percent (Rehman 2008). with the number increasing from 51 to 76 (WWF 2005b.1): R ic e C ot t on Wh e a t S uga r c a ne hec tar es w a te r m 3 h ect ar es w a te r m 3 hec tar es w a te r m 3 hec tar es wa t e r m 3 (m i l l i on s) ( mi l l i on s) (m i l l i ons ) (m i l l i ons ) 2. Pakistan could greatly increase wheat cultivation and save irrigation water. in the 1990s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif favored subsidized loans for building sugar mills because his family firm.18 per pound—Ilovo 2008.” By comp arison. 12-14 in the international market (WWF 2005b. to “political con sid erations. 47) with an ex-mill gate (i. adapted from Table 3. 29).0 5 9 . 23). In the 1990s. even if economically foolish. Thus Pakistan is among the world’s highest. resulting in a 45 percent excess refining capacity. T his results in Pakistan’s average yield of 47. Pakistan could actually have imported sugar from low-cost producers for less than half of the domestic produ ction cost (Faruqui 2004. a water-scarce coun try.e.03 million hectares in 2006-07 (FBS 2008a. although this would have exposed Pakistan to the considerable world sugar price fluctuations seen in the market recently (the 2001-2008 price ranged bet ween U.000 5 1 .955. . approximately half the sugarcane grown in Pakistan is in saline areas (WWF 2005a.6 more than rice.5 tons/hectare. 183). Sugarcane is an extremely water-intensive crop.5 tons/hectare being “perhaps the lowest among all major sugarcane growing countries in the world.000 5 1 ..S. 7). many large landowners in Sindh and Punjab own sugar mills and grow sugarcane on their land. 30) at tributes th e grow th in sugar mills (from 2 in 1947 to 76 in 2005). and 1. The World Wildlife Fund (2005b. decreasing by up to half under heavy salinity conditions. 882 Thus. sugarcane uses 6.0 0 0 48. 29) offers two main contributing factors to this low recovery rate: delays in transporting harvested cane from field to mill (0. In addition.419. Many of the most powerful Pakistani politicians benefit tremendously from this extremely misguided policy.4 2 7 7. 18). 47).Box I: Sugarcane as a Microcosm of Pakistan’s Water Ills Sugarcane is one of Pakistan’s main crops. Pakistan’s sugar yield from cane is also extremely low: sucrose recovery from Pakistani cane is about 8 percent. on one million hectares).e. and the sugar mills reportedly have the second-highest market capitalization on the Karachi Stock Exchange. Thus Pakistan.cost sugar producers (Ilovo 2008.

there is considerable arg ument over the degree of water loss in the canal system and over who should pay for the upgrade and maintenance costs of the water telemetry sy stem ( Dawn 2006a). the P unjab government rejected IRSA’s water allocation for that month. accepting a larger shortfall esti mate would have forced IRSA to reduce water flow to Sindh. in evaluating a decade and a half of IRSA’s operations. Thus. Its five-member board consists of a representative from each province and one from the federal government. denied that it was taking more water than authorized. Unfortunately. In 1992. 1 0 Sometimes the provinces simply ignore IRSA rulings. While the water allocation ratio is ag reed upon. in September 2004. However. Ahmad Faraz Khan (2008b) concluded that IRSA “has reduced itself to a de| 91 | . A substantial portion of this disag reement could be due to the fact that there is simply no reliable real-time data available on actual water flow in the Indus and its various tributaries (World Bank 2005. and categ orically ref used the IRSA chairman’s orders to reduce water discharge into a key main canal by 60 percent. 8 However. IRSA’s functioning has been disharmonious and characterized by continued bitter interprovincial wrangling. For example. and Corruption in Pakistan right water theft. follow ing the signing of the interprovincial Water Accord of 1991. and revised the shortfall to only 22 percent. Punjab irrigation authorities then countercharged that the aim of these reductions was to ensure that Sindh received more water than it had actually been allocated (Kiani 2004). Governance. eventually leading to a lower discharge of water to the Indus Delta. there is continuous disagreement over the actual amount of water available in the Indus River system. a great deal of the dispute is si mply fighting over a zerosum and shrinking water pie. in March 2008. consequently risking massive damage to the standing wheat crop in Punjab and Sindh. IRSA rejected the Punjab g overnment’s contention that water flow into the dam reservoirs was 28 percent below normal. For example. Significantly. the increased water discharge from the Tarbela and Mang la reservoirs resulted in the dams reaching “dead-level” 9 in March instead of late Apri l.Water. For example. the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) was established to implement the Accord and to coordinate water sharing among Pakistan’s four provinces. with the chairmanship rotating annually. 37-38).

none of the four states (Victoria. loyal to their ethnic identities. Agricult ural water | 92 | . This kind of gross miscalculation is an unpardonable act. one has to be imported from Western Australia (three thousand miles away) to periodically evaluate the sy stem (World Bank 2005. for Pakistan. 43). each individual farmer takes his turn according to the old and well-established warabandiystem—wherein he has a specific day on s which his fields are to be irrigated. where provincial of ficials. According to the orig inal calculations. these kinds of vicious interprovincial water disputes are found in many other parts of the world as well.Feisal Khan bating club. There are serious governance issues at the intraprovincial level as well. Khan adds. in Australia. Queensland. The debate whether it was a case of sheer incompetence or deliberate data rig ging can only generate more political pressure on the federation.” The Water Accord.e. From t he watercourse. try to rig the system in their own favor. 2008 spring harvest] season water calculations and distribution problems reflect the twisted working[s] of the body. Khan argued that: The last Rabi [i. Actually.” As an example of the gross politicization of IRSA. 77)! Presumably. “is now more known for creating discord. the federal government nominee could be an impartial nonnational who would preside over IRSA and make final decisions. Granted. “and the actual timing and quantity of the demand is irrelevant” (Mustafa 2002. For example. New South Wales.. the authority claimed that the country would have 3 percent more water than its historic ([and] post-Tarbella Dam) uses. Pakistan suffered [f rom a] 30 percent shortag e during the season. Surface irrigation water in Pakistan is usually released from a barrage (dam) as follows: Main canal => Branch canal => Distributary => Minor => Sub-minor => Watercourse 11 There are also several branching-offs at each step of the chain. so there are mult iple smaller delivery st reams as well. and South Australia) using the waters of the Murray-Darling River Basin trust a water-use auditor from a rival state.

516). Since each main/ branch canal and distributary has several subsidiary takeoffs (which are usually opened on a turn-by-turn basis) and the system is severely water-sho1r2t. 45) quotes a senior irrig ation official as admitting that “miles of lower reaches of watercourses and distributaries are dry. as much water as they need. $113) (Latif 2007. and large farmers (those who can bribe or intimidate provincial irrig ation of ficials) receive much more than their fair share. 14. needless to say.000 in 1971 (Hussain 2004. $243) to a low of Rs. Tail-enders often g et no water at all. and usually out of turn.” Obviously this results in much lower crop y ields and income for those lower down the distribution chain. 516). 38). The number of tubewells has sky rocketed: from 98. So serious is the water shortage that many farmers do not rely on surface irrigation for their water supply and have instead installed private tubewells. 9) to 904. within each watercourse. illeg al under the 1873 Canal and Drainage Act (World Bank 2005. designed to give each user an equal water i right. Over 75 percent of the increase in water supply in Pakistan since 1980 has come from tubewells (World Bank 2005. Up to 30 percent of total flow in some areas is from “direct outlets” which are. Predictably.e. Governance. Mustafa (2002. income per hectare varies massively as well: from a high of Rs. and Corruption in Pakistan pricing is done on a flat-fee basis irrespective of actual water usage. t those at the end of the distribution chain) receive much less water than do farmers at the head of the chain.688 1 4in 2004 (ACO 2004.771 (U. In addition.S. the head-enders usually apply four to five irrigations (watering s) per field whi le the tail enders may apply as few as one or even none (Latif 2007. Despite subsidized diesel and electricity that reduce costs by 35 percent in rural areas. the tail-enders typically get about 20 percent less water than those in the middle. 30). he farmers at the tail-end (i. large farmers often have “direct outlets” that bypass twe rabandsystem and ha i provide them with. For example.575/ha (about 13 U.Water. in practice ensures that. Latif (2007. who in turn g et about 20 percent less than those at the head-end (World Bank 2005. The warabandsystem. virtually on demand. 39). 6. and the common method is to flood the field and let the excess run off. 517) reports that tail-tail-end farmers may pay up to 30 times the cost of | 93 | . with the total essentially doubling every decade since the 1970s. tubewells have very high operating costs. Table 49).S..

Indeed. viewing them. Groundwater (tubewell) productivity is approximately twice that of canal water as the former allows for water-on-demand at the appropriate time in the g row ing cycle. | 94 | . (ii) i of ficials who have denied them favorable treatment are punished or transferred. while canal water is highly unpredictable (World Bank 2005. as a source of bribes. 32). Mustafa (2002. with irrigation officials to ensure that (i) their (and their tenants’) fields receive water in contravention of warabandrules. at best. Finally. at best. at worst. in the past few decades. This effect on policy occurs because the interventions are made directly at the lower level (the level of actual implementation) to ensure that policies detrimental to the large landowners’ interests are blocked. but the water quality is better the closer the well is to a large watercourse (Latif 2007. the average water bureaucracy official treats the average user (small farmers) w ith contempt. many f armers have no choice but to use tubewells. these same large landowners/politicians issue orders directly to lower-level irrigation officials. In g eneral. Mustafa (2002) describes how the majority of water bureaucracy of ficials view “participator y management” or “water users associations” or any other reform effort as. no matter how much resultant damage there may be to the basic sy stem infrastructure.Feisal Khan canal water. 1 5Approximately 70 percent of tubewells in the Punjab (and more in Sindh) report some degree of water salinity (Dawn 2006b). Still. thereby undermining the authority of senior water of ficials. In addition. 517-518). Similarly. as a distraction from his “real” task and. such political interference often completely undermines and negates of ficial policy (which has a pronounced technocratic/engineering bias). This. the professional competence of provincial irrigation officials and the overall level of system governance have declined considerably. 48-51) shows how powerful landowners (who are often members of the national or provincial assemblies or their relatives) intervene directly. someti mes on a daily basis. he arg ues. and (iii) flood abatement procedures do not damage their land. reflects the perpetuation of a colonial administrative ethos that isolates the administrative machinery from any input and influence from the administered population. external-donorfunded fads that detract f rom officials’ “real” task of ef ficiently manag ing an engineering problem (irrig ation) along scienti fic lines.

has seen its water table fall at 0. the water bureaucracy is notoriously corrupt. In Punjab. First. Lahore. 60 percent of f arm-gate-delivered water is f rom tubewells (World Bank 2005. which has no major rivers or canals to recharge the water table. Quetta’s aquifer will likely run dry by 2018 (Brow n 2003). Governance. Pakistan’s second-largest city. and therefore would appear to benefit from at least a partial replenishment of its water table. 40). but the presence of a layer of British senior administrators—who were not vulnerable to political pressure or bribes from larg e landowners—kept the irrig ation bureaucracy relatively honest and effective. there | 95 | . Corruption Like the rest of the Pakistani government. and Corruption in Pakistan The Pakistani canal irrigation system is becoming increasing ly less relevant as a source of direct water for ag riculture. leading to a “cupshaped depression prone to the mig ration of saline groundwater” (World Bank 2005. however. This depletion occurs despite the fact that Lahore sits on the Ravi River. Following independence in 1947. The situation is much worse in Baluchistan. is traversed by major unlined canals. Massive groundwater pumping has led to a considerable drop in the nation’s water table in many areas and the intrusion of saline groundwater into what had previously been f reshwater (Hussain 2004). 140). the water bureaucracy had virtually unchallengeable discretionar y power. 17) equation of corruption is defined as monopoly plus discretion minus accountability. The ever-dropping water table in much of Pakistan has also led many older (and therefore shallower) tubewells to run dry.Water. This was due to two main reasons. and where unrestrained aquifer pumping has caused Quetta’s water table to drop by 3. According to recent trends. 15). For example. The main function of canal irrigation seems to be recharging the water table: over 80 percent of Punjab’s groundwater recharg e comes from leakage from the canal system (World Bank 2005. Under the 1873 Act.5 meters annually for the past 30 years. The World Bank (2005. 16). necessitating deeper drilling and more powerful pumps.5 meters annually. all at considerable expense to small farmers (Hussain 2004. the removal of this layer of British colonial administrators allowed corruption to flourish.

or to receive water out-of-turn. $30 mi llion) to be shared among irrigation officials. This fee did not entitle a farmer to more than one’s share. The World Bank (2005. . And this is just for having a water outlet that gets some water at some point.S. inefficient. for the average of ficial. 1. they are horribly corrupt. In one—hopef ully not isolated— instance of good news. In the rebidding for the contract. 1 6 The level of money involved is stagg ering.S. many farmers were charged an annual “fee” of Rs. However.Feisal Khan was no ef fective internal administrative check on decisions made by irrigation bureaucrats. but had not disclosed this fact in the bidding process.” 21 Many corruption opportunities arise from the fact that water entitlements are almost completely opaque.000 (about U.” At least 25 percent of farmers report bribing irrig ation officials for irrigation water. 30.S. bribe income (not available in these “clean” jobs) was between 5-8 times the official salary (Rijsberman 2008.” Presumably this is because. or for the extremely desirable and very expensive “direct outlet. all is not bad news.8 bi llion (U.6 million contract for a canal system upgrading cancelled after the Pakistan chapter of Transparency International discovered that the firm had been blacklisted for earlier corrupt practices. 74). $3.5 percent of income/hectare (Rijsberman 2008. One development practitioner with considerable firsthand experience working with irrigation officials in Punjab and Sindh describes these authorities as “the real villains in this piece . or 19 more than Pakistan’s per capita income) for each watercourse outlet. $500. 20). and bloody lazy. with the ty pical pay ment averaging about 2. the bureaucrats themselves were much more vulnerable to pressure to “accommodate” large local landowners and politicians. the new winner 20 “provided a technically superior of fer” for U. a fi rm had its U. . The World Bank (2005.S. with near-total discretion lying with irrigation officials (World Bank 2005. $9. at the appropriate ti me in the growing cycle. this gives an income guesstimate of roughly Rs. 1 8In 2002. 18) details how senior officials pay “crores of rupees” 1 7to obtain desirable posts and turn dow n “clean jobs at four times the [official] salary. With about 60.4 million less.000 outlets in the irrig ation system. Second. in the late 1990s. 20) proposes greater transparency and publicly known water entitlements as an effective | 96 | . 73).

implemented the Provincial Irrigation Authority Act of 1997—an effort to reform throug h decentralization. In practice. as those who know their rights and the law are less likely to allow themselves to be bullied by large landowners and government officials. Furthermore. and so such transparency would not likely have any appreciable effect in the short run. However. and to contract for needed repairs and other maintenance: The AWB would manag e and distribute irrigation water. 100). system maintenance and development. as described in Mustaf a (2002).Water.” Even if entitlements are publicly know n.000 hectares). with much World Bank and other donor input. the Nawaz Sharif government. REFORM AN D DEVOLUTION: PLUS ÇA CHANGE. increasing literacy and public knowledg e about entitlements would at least make it harder for of ficials to get away with their corrupt conduct and may well make for improvements in the long run. given the extremely corrupt and slow Pakistani legal sy stem. nothing has changed. PLUS C’EST LA MÊME CHOSE In the 1990s. and trade water w ith other utilities. and Corruption in Pakistan measure “for actually providing that to which users are entitled. The PIDA would be responsible for such f unctions as province-wide water delivery. nei- | 97 | . Area Water Boards (AWBs. and Farmers’ Org anizations (FOs). Governance. this system was to allow for a more efficient allocation of water since the various users would now be allowed to buy and sell water to better balance demand and supply. there is no actual rig hts-enforcement sy stem feasible in the current Pakistani context. through formal volume-based contracts with FOs. 71). covering roughly 600. and sales of water beyond amounts contracted with AWBs (World Bank 2005. This law broke up the old provincial irrigation departments into Provincial Irrigation and Drainage Authorities (PIDAs). In theory. since the “[w]ater rig hts and entitlements that were advocated in the [World] Bank’s strategy paper were not on the [government of Pakistan’s] immediate agenda” (World Bank 2005.

Feisal Khan ther irrig ation officials nor users (large or small) see any appreciable difference between the new system or the old one. large local landowners | 98 | . Pakistan’s large and g rowing population. senior decision-makers are ever held accountable for their poor policy choices (as opposed to being scapegoated or blamed. and this will require greater centralization and reassertion of administrative control and not devolution and decentralization. it is clear that some major reform ef forts w ill have to be undertaken to shore up the system. The professional competence and integ rity of the provincial irrig ation bureaucracies need to be improved. Successive g overnments have favored unproductive defense spending over allocating f unds for irrigation maintenance (or education or healthcare for that matter). bad governance. Pakistani agriculture needs a radical restructuring of its water use patterns if it is to stave off disaster. Dawn (2007) summed up the position of the representatives of various farmers’ trade organizations and lobby ing groups as concluding that “the government habit of creating more institutions to cover the inefficiency of parent institutions has damaged the farming sector. very few. Pakistani decision making suffers from what can only be described as acute ad hocis: very little long-term planning is done and what is m done is rarely adhered to. This is because. Given the importance of ag riculture to the economy. and the country’s existing water shortage.” CONCLUSION It is clear that Pakistan has suffered from bad policies. for past mistakes). While any detailed discussion of reform proposals is far outside the scope of this analysis. Each crisis entails a burst of feverish activity and then all is quiet ag ain. and the vast and once tightly run irrigation sy stem has suffered to the point where it is teetering on collapse. whether justified or not. if any. Furthermore. as thing s stand now. In evaluating the impact of the Pakistani government’s various water policy reforms. Short-term considerations often override long-term ones and the sy stem has a tendency to lurch from crisis to crisis. agriculture’s extreme reliance on irrig ation water. and corruption in its water administration.

The Pakistani Federal Board of Revenue estimated that an agricultural income tax. As is apparent. In exchange for U. $750-875 million) in additional revenue. Only a much more professional org anization would be capable of enforcing stricter water-usage practices—reduced groundwater pumping and more efficient irrigation usage (e. As this amply demonstrates.S. the prospects for any meaningful reforms in Pakistani agricultural and irrigation administration are extremely unlikely in the immediate future. to paraphrase von Clausewitz. It is here that Pakistan’s current economic crisis could have been of importance in ef fecting some wide-ranging reforms. Presumably. Governance.6 billion in emergency aid. these policies are relatively straightforward but.S. $12. the government of Pakistan should also discourage sugarcane cultivation and increase the freshwater flow to the Indus Delta. it is the simplest thing s that are the most dif ficult. At the same time. it might have been willing to overcome the resistance of the extremely powerful larg e landowners 22 (who dominate parliament) to any effort to tax them. and Corruption in Pakistan can bribe. the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reportedly pressed hard in late 2008 for the imposition of an agricultural income tax for the first time in Pakistani history (Iqbal 2008). even one w ith generous exemptions for small and subsistence farmers.5 million—generated from the current tax collection system (Jamal 2008). $7. drip irrigation instead of flooding fields). Pakistan’s water crisis and attendant misgovernance will surely worsen. the power of large landowners in parliament was so strong that the IMF’s proposals came to naught.. 1 billion—U. The IMF now denies that it is encourag ing the Pakistani government to implement an ag ricultural income tax as part of its current assistance program (IMF 2008). while w inning a war is a simple matter. | 99 | . would have generated about Rs. versus the Rs.Water. However. if the Pakistani government was desperate enough. 60-70 billion (approximately U. This added revenue would have allowed the Pakistani government to fund—among other things— much-needed i rrigation sy stem repairs and upgrades. threaten. or inti midate irrig ation officials with impunity and so can easily disrupt the implementation of any policy that affects their interests.S.g.

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Khaleeq. Feisal. 2008. Available fr om http://www. 2004. “How to improve sugar recover y fr om cane.” Water Policy Briefing #8. Ahmad Faraz.” Dawn . Ilovo. “Spatial Productivity Along a Canal Irr igation System in Pakistan. “Theory ver sus Practice : The Bureaucr atic Ethos of Water Resource Management and Administration in Pakistan. Available from http://ww w. Available from http:// w ww.htm. “Miscalculation by Irsa may hit wheat crop: Mangla. Septe mbe r 14. “Sacred Cows and the I MF support. Pro-poor Intervention Strategies in Irrigated Agriculture in Asia—Poverty in Irrigated Agriculture: Issues and Options. 2008.” Dawn . Annual Report 2008. 2 Nayyar. “Que stions and Answer s on the Pakistan Program. Rehman. | 101 | . contemporary water issues in Pakistan.pdf. “I rsa accuse s Punjab of violating decision. 2008. Dieter. Adam.” Contemporary South Asia 1 (1): 39-56. 1 ---.” Dawn . 2002.dawn.dawn.” Dawn . 2007. 2004. .” I n Global Corruption Report 2008: Corruption in the Water Sectore ds.htm.com/2008/10/27/ebr3. “Water for food: cor ruption in ir rigation systems. Muhammad. Governance. Hafeez ur. “Colonial law.htm. Sri Lanka: International Water Management Institute.htm# q12. “What Indus water treaty means. “IMF to mount pressure for agriculture tax: Pakistan’s package review on Fr iday. April 28.dawn. October 27. 2008.” Available from http://ww w. January 10. Apr il 21.com/2008/04/21/ebr7.imf. March 5. “Corr uption and the Decline of the State in Pakistan. “Improving Water Productivity. ed.dawn. International Water Management Institute.htm. Latif. lk. Available fr om http://www. and Rebecca Dobson.iwmi. 2002. Anwar. 2008a.org/pr opoor/files/ ADB_Project/Project%20Reports/Pakistan.Water. 56 Mustafa. November 17.iwmi.com/2002/01/10/op. Fr ank R.cgiar. 2008. Jamal. htm. “I mpr oving Wor k Cultur e.org/exter nal/np/ vc/2008/120308. 2003.com/2008/04/28/ebr16. Pakist.com/pdfs/2008part6. Iqbal. Available from http://www.com/2004/09/18/top9. 2008. 2008b.dawn. 1e Kiani.dawn. Tarbela at dead level.asp. ---.com /2008/11/17/top1.htm#2.” Dawn .pdf. Available fr om http:// www. Khan.” Irrigation and D rainage (5): 509-521. Rijsberman. Nasir. Available from http://ww w.illovosugar.” Dawn . Zinnbauer. Intizar. Available from http://www.” Political Geography 0 (7): 817-837. Available from http://www.aPakistan n Country Report. Part 6.” Dawn . Available fr om http:// w ww.org/waterpolicybriefing/index. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge Univer sity Press.com/2008/03/05/nat9.htm. 2007. 2001. and Corruption in Pakistan Hussain. International Monetar y Fund. Daanish.” Asian Journal of Political Scienc5 (2): 219-247.dawn. Khan. Colombo.

” International Journal of Water Resources Developme6 t(3): 391-406. Available fr om http://assets.wor ldbank. This December 1947 agre ement froze the water allocation between East and West Punjab (now par ts of I ndia and Pakistan.panda. Wescoat.org/downloads/impactofeusugarsubsidiesonpakistan1.org/downloads/sugarandtheenvironment_fidq. 2005a. Sarah J.L sets. “Water Management in the Indus Basin of Pakistan: A Half-centur y Per spective. See World Bank 2005 (especially 7-9) for mor e details on the Indus | 102 | . Developme nt Un it Report No. Gangyan. Available from as. World Bank Analytical and Advisory Assistance (AAA) Progr am.pdf.pdf. re spectively) at the pre-independence level until the e nd of March 1948. Reprint edition (original edition 1961). 2007..wwfpak. 2000. org/INTEAPREGTOPENVIRONMENT/Resources/ WRM_Israel_experience_EN. World Wildlife Fund ( WWF). org/downloads/3southasia.” Working paper #37745 and background pape r for “China: Addressing Water Scarcity” report. and textiles) are by far Pakistan’s largest export items. Upon the lapse of this agreement. ---. 1969.pdf.nZeist. 2002. until Pakistan agreed to pay India for the water it received (see Nayyar 2002 for details). 1n World Bank. Halvorson. 34081-PK. Give n that cotton produc ts (raw cotton. 3. ---. Fr eshwate r and Toxics Program. and Daanish Mustafa. NOTES 1. yar n. Available from http://www. Washington. Pakistan’s Waters at Risk Lahore : WWF . “Water Use in Agriculture in Prior ity River Basins—Section 3 South Asia: The Indus River Basin. DC: The World Bank. Sugar and the Environment: Encouraging Better Management Practices in Sugar Productio. Jame s L. Agriculture and Rural . Berkeley: Univer sity of California Press. A Punjabi Century 1857-1947 .panda. 2005b. Pakistan Country Water Resources Assistance Strategy—Water Economy: Running Dry South Asia Region. Prakash. Available fr om http://siter esources.pdf. 2005. This is the direct contr ibution. cloth. the true impact of agricu lture on GDP is much greater than this.panda. Impact of European Union Sugar Subsidies on the Manufacturing and Agricultural Sectors of Pakistan ahore: WWF-Pakistan. 2.” Available from http://assets. India shut off the water supply to the Pakistani Punjab for four weeks.Feisal Khan Tandon. The Netherlands: WWF Global Freshwater Progr am.pdf. org/pdf/water-report. Zhou. ---. “Water Resources Management in an Ar id Environment: The Case of Israel. 2006.

See Khan 2008a for more details. 5. Rijsber man (2008. 2004/2005) dollars. presumably as a populist me asure (World Bank 2005. and Corruption in Pakistan Waters Tre aty. 826-827) state s that water supplied through surface irrigation is only ade quate for a 64 percent cropping intensity. Sindh’s share and that being discharged into the sea) getting reduced. the Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto gover nment. chose not to increase abiana rates. even 10 percent of total cost recover y is gene rally not possible. 10. 4. A “watercourse” in the Pakistani ir rigation context is the ir rigation channel that delivers water to the final distribution point from where the far mer actually water s his fields. broken | 103 | . 8. presumably through increased labor demand br ought about by increased land under cultivation. 9. and other international aid bodie s (e. 6. 121). Both SCARP (initiated in the 1960s) and LBOD (initiated in the 1980s) received massive funding from the Pakistani gover nment. in an e ra of high inflation. and 121) for details. the World Bank (and its related agencie s). The SCARP and LBOD were Pakistani federal gover nment pr ojects exe cuted with considerable technic al and financial assistance from external donors. with the downstream discharge (i. 70) describe s how. The water level at which water discharge from dams has to stop.e. the World Bank estimate d that the income of landless agr icultur al laborers also doubled in th is same per iod. The degree of water loss in the canal system is of great importance. abiana ates were sufficient to cover oper ations and maintenance plus a small r por tion of the capital cost (i. Irr igation water is. then this would affect the allocation of wate r to all users. 97.. Until the e ar ly 1970s..Water. Pakistan’s rights to the water s superseded those of India’s (as the uppe r ripar ian) and that the treaty essentially legalized India’s water theft. 13.e. e specially the United States. Mustafa (2001.e.g. 12. while present cropping intensities in the most fertile ar eas of Pakistan are at 150 percent. with the r espective provincial irrigation departments responsible for mainte nance once the projects were completed. worldwide. of course.. Latif (2007) gives extre mely detailed income and crop yield data. 7. If water loss rates are higher than currently estimated (16 percent).. Contr ary to common arguments that ir rigation benefits ar e overwhelmingly concentrate d among larger landowner s. roughly marginal cost pr icing). because the water level has dropped so low that the intake pipe s are exposed. Governance. the United Kingdom’s Depar tment for Inter national Development). World Bank funding for these projects numbered in the billions of current (i. while over half of the Punjab I rrigation Depar tment’s operations and maintenance budget was spent on SCARP in the 1990s. Gazdar (2005) gives a very cr itical assessment of the Ayub gover nment’s dec ision to sign the tre aty. See World Bank 2005 (especially pages 94. heavily subsidized in many countrie s. 11. he argues that as the lower r iparian. Dawn (2006b) quotes the federal minister of science and technology as saying that the average salt deposit per he ctare is two tons annually.

However. 15. which has a similar ir rigation histor y in many par ts of the country. total water availability at the head of a main canal is much more than at its tail.. 19. See Gilani (2008. who describes irrigation officials’ self-view as one of efficient technocrats hampered by corr upt politicians and ignorant far mers. Also contr ast this with Tandon’s (1969) descr iption of the ser vice. 21. at its head.down by whether a farmer is at the head.S. middle. 18) reports that Israel’s aver age per hectare water usage has declined from 8. Table 49). main ly for urban water and the SCARP program. Even greater productivity increases are possible w ith better water and agr icultural management.968 public tubewells in Pakistan in 2004 (ACO 2004. middle. 18. if any. “Feudals” in the Pakistani parlance. 14. and the usual term for this income is “monthlie s.500 meter s 3 now (total water consumption remaining rough ly constant). There were 7. élan.700 meter s 3 in 1975 to 5. Obviously. it is not cle ar from Gilani what action. While I sr ael may be a water-productivit y outlier. 22. | 104 | .e. or tail of a water distribution network and by what point on the main canal the branching off occurs (i. 16. it does show the extent of potential gains for Pakistan.” It was up to 10 times the amount of an official salar y in I ndia in the 1990s. and who wer e presumably paid off to approve it.000 in 2005. but agricultural output has increased 12-fold by making massive use of micr o-sprinkling and drip ir rigation. Per sonal communication with the author. Zhou (2006. One cr ore equals 10 million rupees. competence. 20. was taken against the officials who had approved the earlier offer. 215) for more details. Contrast this with Mustafa (2002). $164. 17. and professionalism (albeit in a rigidly hierarchic al and almost completely insular organizational structure) of the pre-independence Punjab Ir rigation Department. and productivity is much lower at the tail than the head. or tail). Personal communication with the author. Such salary supplements are routine for public sector jobs in Pakistan. See Khan (2007) for details on the rapid expansion of cor ruption in Pakistan immediately following independence in 1947. about U.

The focus here is primarily on rural settings. and water governance. h a l v o r S o n a ater-society interactions in Pakistan are complex. hydro-social health and well-being depend fundamentally on the consideration of gender in water policy and management. This essay seeks to elaborate the linkages between water and gender while draw ing attention to issues of environmental quality. As the case of Pakistan suggests. The issues and concerns raised in answering these questions underscore the need for a deeper probing of women’s authoritative position vis-à-vis g overnance over common property resources such as water. While these questions are well-grounded in real-life experience.Intersections of Water and Gender in Rural Pakistan S r a h J. Halvorson is an associate professor in the Department of Geography W at the University of Montana. Gender serves to shape society’s interactions with water and to differentiate the outcomes of water problems and potential solutions. as well as to debates about stakeholder involvement—particularly women’s involvement—in addressing aspects of the water crisis in Pakistan. | 105 | . sustainability. according to 2005 figures (WHO 2008). in part because critical issues of social and environmental equity are embedded in these interactions. Seemingly obvious questions—Who carries water? Who does water work? Who benefits from water?—tend to go unasked and unchallenged. where approximately 67 percent of Pakistan’s 160 million people reside. Sarah J. regional. or local action toward improving water supplies or expanding the rang e of alternative actions. the responses have not consistently informed international. The aim is to contribute to discussions about the lack of potable water and water vulnerability in rural settings.

Sarah J. Halvorson

WATER AND EN VIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS IN RURAL AREAS
For many Pakistani women living in rural areas, meeting the water needs of a shifting and grow ing population is currently one of the greatest challeng es they f ace. Within the rural water sector, decades of policies promoting Green Revolution technologies, intensive agriculture, and industrial development have resulted in a staggering array of environmental problems. These problems include, but are not li mited to, decimated wetlands, salinization, waterlogging, carcinogenic chemical and heavy-metal contamination, loss of aquatic resources, groundwater mining, and polluted waterways (Briscoe and Qamar 2005; Mustafa 1998). Many of these problems stem from long-standing bad practices involving the excessive use of ag ro-industrial chemicals, discharges of animal waste, untreated sewage, and open defecation due to the inadequate provision of sanitation (Bridges 2007). The lack of safe and potable water poses a major public health problem in many rural areas, especially in light of high levels of dysf unctional infrastructure and deteriorating public water supply sy stems. Water-related disease hazards are a major threat to child survival. Health survey s report that 25-50 percent of mortality in Pakistani children between the ages of one and five is related to waterborne diseases (WHO 2008). The health consequences of water scarcity and the consumption of contaminated water are also g endered, placing an additional burden on women who are charged with caring for sick family members.

WATER WORK, WOMEN’S WORK
When it comes to water work on a local scale, sig nificant divisions of labor prevail between women and men. These divisions of labor reflect a gender ideolog y that dominates the sociocultural landscape of Pakistan (Halvorson 2002; Mumtaz 2007; World Bank 2005). Women are often responsible for the irrig ation of family gardens, orchards, and fields that are essential for sustenance and livelihood security. Furthermore, hauling water, cooking, washing clothes, bathing children, home repair, and cleaning are all gender-defi ned forms of
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women’s work that involve water to a greater or lesser degree. Women and children bear the primary responsibility for water collection—an arduous and f atiguing task in most cases that can consume sig nificant amounts of time. In mountainous parts of the country, water collection can be hazardous since it involves navigating steep paths over treacherous slopes. Depending upon the location of the water source and the season, the workload associated with procuring water can preclude women from engag ing in other productive and reproductive activities. In general, the recognition of women as water manag ers views women’s lives as integrally connected to water resources. The everyday lives of women in Pakistan are directly influenced by the condit ions and decisions surrounding water policy and management. Planning and decision making about water has historically been dominated by men. A major issue af fect ing the process of decision making in regards to water in rural areas is the fact that poverty has led millions of Pakistani men to migrate out of rural v illages and towns t o urban centers in Pakistan or outside t he country in search of employment opportunities. Male out-migration brings financial benefits to families but also social cost s and impacts on resource management. Male off-farm employment has resulted in greater workloads for women and girls as they take up the bulk of t he farm and family responsibilit ies that were once shared more equally between men and women. The result is a feminization of ag riculture, whereby women’s contributions t o food security and agricultural economies have increased over time. This pattern has also been observed in other developing countries. Survey research has revealed that Pakistani women work an average of 12 to 15 hours each day on various livelihood activities and domestic chores (UNESCAP 1997). The extent of men’s increasing participation in wage labor, either domestically or int ernationally, has perforce reshaped the quality of life of, and t he water-dependent workloads of, women. As a result of the absence of many men from their communities, women’s involvement in water governance is even more essential. In Pakistan today, the continued trend toward large numbers of women working in the agricultural sector highlights the pressing need for recognizing and addressing the on-farm water needs of women farmers. Women’s roles in irrigation are frequently overlooked by ag ricultural extension agents and water engineers, and women are often excluded
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Sarah J. Halvorson

from access to irrigation water owing to their lack of ownership of land titles. Despite women’s responsibilities in regards to household water needs and irrigation, they have played a relatively small role in public decision making about water management, water quality protection, and flood and droug ht hazard mitigation. Within the Pakistani context, several questions help to frame a gender-focused approach to analyzing water access and control: How has women’s water work changed over time in relation to men’s water work? Is the technolog y appropriate for women’s use? Are there provisions at the water source for other communal water-related activities? What are the ways in which women’s work in g ardens, fields, and livelihoods is water-dependent? What are the opportunities and constraints to increasing women’s participation in water sector decisions? Research conducted with these types of questions in mind has revealed to the water community in Pakistan how scarcity and degraded water quality are of particular concern for rural women. In times of water scarcity it is usually women and children who suffer most. Importantly, as Simi Kamal (2005) points out, it is critical to move beyond thinking of women as unfortunate victims of water deficiencies and deprivations, and instead to consider women’s potential leadership in the water sector. Merely delineating women’s practices and attitudes toward water supplies at the household level stops short of exploring the social relations and gendered processes that affect women’s contributions to water sector planning.

CONSTITUTING WATER-GENDER CONNECTIONS ON NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL SCALES
Over the past 20 years, policy discussions and analyses in Pakistan have underscored the connections between water, g ender, and rural development in way s that reflect international dialog ue and action. One of the earliest international policy statements on the importance of involving rural women in the manag ement of water was put forth at the 1977 Mar del Plata United Nations Water Conference. This conference was followed by the International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade, 1980-1990 (the “Water Decade”), which also

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Intersections of Water and Gender in Rural Pakistan launched international policy directives to promote community participation—especially women’s participation—in meeting basic water needs. as set forth by the Dublin Statement that emerged from the conference: This pivotal role of women as providers and users of water and guardians of the living environment has seldom been reflected in institutional arrangements for the development and management of water resources. and environmental degradation. in ways defi ned by them (WMO 1992. 4). illiteracy. The government of Pakistan has integrated these MDGs into its national policy framework (GOP 2006). UN/ WWAP 2003). all of these priorities involve or are shaped by water (Gleick 2004. Achieving the MDG on drinking water supply coverage (Goal 7. at a fundamental level. hunger. the involvement and participation of women in project design. The “Water for Life” Decade complements the g oals. Target 10: “to halve by 2015 the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and basic | 109 | . and the implementation of new and appropriate technology (Pasha and McGarry 1989). including decision making and implementation. disease. the International Conference on Water and the Environment in Dublin (held in January 1992) further elaborated the central role of women in water management in the third guiding principle. Following the Water Decade. During the Water Decade in Pakistan. a greater emphasis was placed on women’s water needs and preferences. Relevant to this discussion is the fact that the MDGs draw close connections between sound water management. the provision of water and sanitation. targets. Acceptance and implementation of this principle requires positive policies to address women’s specific needs and to equip and empower women to participate in all levels in water resources prog rams. More recently. and timeline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG s). and gender equality and the empowerment of women. women’s priorities and participation in water resource management have been explicitly acknowledged in the resolution launching the “Water for Life” Decade (2005-2015). The MDGs establish objectives and measurable targets for reducing poverty.

up to this point policies and water sector reforms have prioritized irrigation technology. gender dif ferences in how these problems are experienced persist. Such reported statistics suggest that some of the greatest achievements in meeting MDGs have been made on this front. rural water supply coverage is “likely to be achieved” and rural sanitation is “on track” to being achieved (ibid. Halvorson sanitation”) in Pakistan w ill require major expenditure and leadership. these needs remain largely invisible in the agenda of water institutions and are not much in the picture in terms of water policies. [and therefore] their participation in planning . There is still a tremendous need for policy and action that involves women (and their families) who are dependent upon common resources such as watersheds. according to Islamabad. programs and conservation initiatives. Significantly. moni| 110 | . implementation. Likew ise. the nexus of women and water is larg ely seen in terms of romantic depiction. Although some attempts at addressing women’s needs in domestic water management and [wider] scale water projects have been made. One area in which the water planning and policy agenda is responding to the important relationship between women’s work and water is seen in the context of Pakistan’s National Drinking Water Policy. Pakistan has set national targets for providing safe drinking water to rural areas. One of the key principles guiding the implementation of this policy recognizes that women “are the main providers of domestic water supply and maintainers of hygienic home environment. As such. or who are displaced as a result of large-scale river basin projects. Nevertheless. and the expansion of intensively irrigated ag riculture.). strateg ies. hydropower dam construction.Sarah J. freshwater fisheries. 80) puts it: While water is crucial to Pakistan. As part of its effort to attain MDG s. In 2004—before the outset of the “Water for Life” Decade—rural water supply coverage in Pakistan was reported to be 89 percent and rural sanitation coverag e was reported at 41 percent. gender differences in how these problems are perceived and how responses to these problems are articulated also remain. As Kamal (2005. and wetlands for food and subsistence.

A GLOF event occurs when a g lacial ice dam across a river fails. In mobi lizing action around the goals of the “Water for Life” Decade and the MDGs. and long-term denudation. IMPACTS OF NATURAL HAZARDS AND DISASTERS The issues and concerns hig hlig hted above have been exacerbated by natural hazards and disasters that impact women’s roles in water provision.Intersections of Water and Gender in Rural Pakistan toring and operation and maintenance of water supply systems w ill be ensured” (GOP 2007. who write that “the impact of the drought situation on women is worse due to their sociocultural and economic positioning within the family and the community. Furthermore. 15). soil erosion. D rought exacerbates the consequences of apparent and ongoing processes of land degradation. gender training for all tiers of local government staff and government representatives is encouraged “so that they are able to respond in a sensitive manner to the gender differentiated needs in the drinking water sector.” Other destructive events such as landslides. the feminization of agriculture. rural-tourban migration. 4). thereby causing a subsequent and often catastrophic release of the lake | 111 | .. and gendered g eographies of rural poverty.” (ibid. Women in these drought-prone areas have faced particular hardships. 7). and g lacial lake outburst flooding (GLOF) interfere with water supplies and/or cause damages to property and livelihood activities. mudslides. These hardships associated w ith recent droug ht in Sindh are underscored by Qureshi and Akhtar (2004. natural damming of rivers and streams by landslides. Pakistan’s government and members of the development community realize that concerted efforts to mainstream gender in water management must grapple with the cultural and material realities of gender ideolog y. high population growth. Severe drought affecting arid and semi-arid areas in Baluchistan and Sindh P rovinces have impacted agricultural systems and drinking water availability in profound ways. The National Drinking Water Policy also presents a community participation and empowerment strategy that explicitly includes a statement about the inclusion of women.

springs. particularly as they attempted to collect water and provide for their families during this chaotic time (Hamilton and Halvorson 2007. the relief and recovery period. White (White. Bradley. g lacial hazards are an increasing concern in the KarakoramHimalaya reg ion. As such. emergency supplies. and community water supply schemes were completely buried by landslides triggered by the 7. Earthquakes have also brought tremendous destruction to rural water supplies and irrig ation infrastructure. In the aftermath of the Kashmir earthquake. The earthquake’s immediate aftermath. women have been on the f rontlines of reconstructing the water infrastructure in devastated mountainous areas. Halvorson water that had accumulated over time behind the ice dam. The four GLOF events that occurred in upper Hunza Valley in the Northern Areas in 2008 underscore the potential negative impacts of glacial recession on women and their f amilies living within close proximity or downstream of g laciers and glacial lakes. The process of ice dam formation that is underway is associated with surg ing glaciers and sug gests a trend toward regional ef fects of climate change. The monitoring of cli mate variability and climatic risks to Pakistan’s glaciers is critical to the mitigation of these environmental hazards. Women had no choice but to utilize rudimentary ad hoc sy stems. EXPANDING WO MEN’S RANGE OF CHOICE: CONSTRAINTS AN D OPPORTUNITIES Drawing f rom the seminal work of the geographer Dr. Balakot. and White 1972). Shirkat Gah 2006). Gilbert L.Sarah J. Irrig ation systems. The catastrophic 2005 Kashmir earthquake was extremely detrimental to water access and availability in Muzaffarabad. and numerous mountain villages. and community reconstruction underscored how this event impacted mountain women. I raise the question: How can women’s “range of choice” reg arding water supplies in Pakistan be effectively expanded in rural areas? The promotion of meaningful and equitable participation by women is critical to expanding the rang e of choice in water and the range of alternatives to addressing these | 112 | .6-magnitude earthquake. or distant streams that were only accessed by crossing rocky and unstable terrain.

groups of women have been able to invest in community water supply systems and have benefitted f rom programs to promote the safe handling of water. gender relations. the Punjab Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project has encouraged the participation of women along w ith men in water sector planning for low-income communities. informal codes of behavior. The paucity of current and disagg regated data on women’s priorities in the management of rural water supplies is a serious deterrent to policy initiatives. They are participating in water user associations and benefiting from programs to improve water supplies and environmental health. Halvorson.Intersections of Water and Gender in Rural Pakistan issues. Nevertheless. since they no longer spend upwards of six hours per day collecting water. women have the authority to reject a source if it does not meet their minimum criteria in terms of quality. the Northern Areas. As stakeholders in the water sector. The result of this work has demonstrated that women’s water priorities are af fected by household obligations. Aziz. One example of a policy that prioritizes women’s choice can be seen in the regional prog rams of the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. cultural and relig ious preferences. The g ender approach adopted includes a commitment to an institutional framework with women’s organizations as central to the process of assessing household water needs and strategies for addressing water challenges. women in rural Punjab. One of the most influential micro-scale variables—and one that presents an enormous opportunity—is women’s own social capital. and can be mobilized for greater water governance. women are slowly fi nding the requisite space and support to influence water resources planning and management. For example. Furthermore. and the viability of technologies (Aziz and Halvorson 1999. and elsewhere report gaining confidence to play a role in the management | 113 | . In the Northern Areas. which is embodied in strong social networks and friendship-kinship relations. access to information. and Alibhoy 1999). in spite of the cultural patriarchy that impedes women’s participation in formal institutes of water resource science and planning. Improved access to water has brought dramatic changes to women’s and g irls’ lives. Clearly. women perceive a range of choice that is of ten very influenced by actions and adjustments beyond their sphere of influence and observation.

Other forms of social differences—class. agricultural. women need to be well-informed about hydrological systems and the ways in which water decisions have a bearing on their own use of. Ideologies of seclusion further restrict women’s involvement in community-based organizations and decision making. Another constraint women face is that t hey are typically not empowered to make independent decisions about participating in local governance or playing a role in community organizing. or health crises. Women’s limited mobilit y constrains their access to formal education and also to forums aimed at addressing water problems. In this regard. As is the case elsewhere in South Asia. Halvorson and operation of their water supply sy stems. | 114 | . in some areas of Northwest Frontier Province. Women’s lack of mobility in Pakistan is compounded by impediments to accessing informat ion needed to enable women to part icipate effectively in water management. Women face social constraints in developing their knowledge of hydrology. the innovative radio program ani ki kahani. even during times of severe water. Pakistani women’s participation in water decision making remains complicated. Gender inequalities restrict women’s participation in water decision making in various ways. ethnicity. they must overcome successive obstacles embedded in traditional decision-making structures within the household and the communit y. and control over water. Low levels of literacy coupled with limited mobility reduce the occasions to learn from interactions with other water stakeholders. access to. socioeconomic standing—also af fect participation in ways that can result in profound dif ferences among and between women. In order to play effective and meaning ful roles in water management. These norms translate into restrictions on women’s mobility outside of the home. water science. and water policy. which contrasts with the important productive and reproductive work that they perform. and the Northern Areas. aurat ki P zubani(“Water Stories. Baluchistan. Women’s Issues”) uses radio to bring g ender and water issues into the public purview. Azad Kashmir. female literacy rates are as low as 3 percent. relig ion. in part because of gender norms that influence women’s behavior and roles within Pakistani society. Literacy rates are ext remely low.Sarah J. The theme of women and water is even slowly trickling into public discourse via the media. Although women are often the first to perceive a water problem.

shif ts in water control structures. As such. | 115 | . namely women. The outcomes of strategies implemented to improve water supplies in rural parts of Pakistan indicate that improved access to water and water quality protection are inherently dependent upon linking householders w ith the public sphere of water management. Certainly. human capital development. then can a real turnaround toward solving Pakistan’s array of water problems actually take place? This essay has attempted to argue that without giving Pakistani women access to the process of water governance and greater recognition to their water-related roles in society. the household stands out as the site where perceptions. access. water provision is rarely centralized and complex water access reg imes prevail. The evidence implies quite dif ferent approaches to f rameworks for stakeholder involvement in water sector decisions and policymaking. Pakistan will remain a long way from reducing water vulnerabilities. public policy. Water management strategies and policies that are responsive to gendered understandings of water would also benefit from a focus on power and rights distributions across gender lines. water use. if the changes—such as long-run investments in location-specific technologies.Intersections of Water and Gender in Rural Pakistan CONCLUSION Is a turnaround in Pakistan’s water crisis possible w ithout a consideration of women? In other words. Yet the country’s entrenched irrigation practices and differential water resource geographies are slow to embark on change that would bring a reworking of the current consolidation of power and resource control. a strong case can be made for expanding the range of choice of options and solutions for the majority of Pakistan’s water workers. and community health intersect. In rural areas. As evidence from Pakistan suggests. changes in land use. ef forts to reduce water deprivation at the local level will have a far greater success rate when women’s participation becomes a reality. and improvements in infrastructure and water delivery—required for a shifting away f rom the status quo in water planning bypass women.

Gleick. 2007.” Islamabad: Ministry of Environment. McGarr y. and Karim Alibhoy. Hoto. Peter H. “Gender and Poverty in Pakistan. Geoff . pk/uploaddocuments/mdg2006. and Michael G. Pakistan. Wor ld Bank. 1989.” World Bank Technical Paper No. Daanish. and Equity.pk/NEP/DWPolicy-29Nov2007. London: International Institute for Environment and Developme nt. 1999.. 2005. Halvorson REFERENCES Aziz.” I slamabad: Plann ing Commission. “Women and Water: Issues of Entitlement. Philippines: Asian Development Bank.environment. 1999.E by John Pickford. “Rural Water Supply and Sanitation in Pakistan: Lessons from Exper ience. “Women’s Involvement: A Switch in Thinking. and Dick de Jong. Available from http://www. w Halvorson. Available from http://www. Bridges.adb. “Asian Water Development Outlook 2007—Country Paper Pakistan. Simi. “National Dr inking Water Policy. Halvor son.pdf. Briscoe.Sarah J.” I n Pakistani Women in Context: A Companion Volume to the Pakistan Country Gender Assessmen. Washington.” Development50 (2): 149-153.gov.pdf. and Sarah J. Nahida Aziz. “The 2005 Kashmir Earthquake: A Per spective on Women’s Experiences. John.” In Proceedings of the 24th W EDC Conference. Mumtaz. 2007.org/Documents/Books/AWDO/2007/c r08.undp. L ammer ink .” Economic Geograph74 (3): 289–305.” The Geographical Revie92 (2): 257-281. DC. 2007 . Jennifer P. Khawar.org. 1998. Pakistan. 1998: Sanitation and Water for All dited . “Pakistan Millennium Development Goals Repor t 2006. Mustafa. eW Governme nt of Pakistan (GOP).zip. 2006. “Deve lopment of Strategie s to Involve Women in Rur al Water Supply and Sanitation Inter ventions in Northern Pakistan: Exper iences of the Water and Sanitation Extension Progr amme. ) Kamal. Nahida. | 116 | . Islamabad. ____ ______. Pakistan.t I slamabad: World Bank. United Kingdom: Loughborough Univer sity. Halvor son. Oxford: Oxford University Pre ss and World Bank. 2004. Leicestershire. Available fr om http://www. 2005. 2002. Halvorson. “Structural Causes of Vulnerability to Flood Hazard in Pakistan. and Usman Qamar.” Manila.. s ashington. 105. 2007. y Pasha.” In PLA (Participatory Learning and Action) Notes: Community Water Management Edited by Marc P. Access. Sar ah J. Sarah.” Mountain Research and Development (Special I ssue on Coping with Human Vulnerability in Mountain Environments 27 (4): 296-301. and Sarah J. Hamilton. T he World’s Water 2004 -2005: The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resourc. Hafiz A. “Environmental Health Risks and Gender in the Karakoram-Himalaya. Pakistan’s Water Economy: Running Dry . DC: Island Press.

“World Water Development Report: Water for People. Available fr om http://www. 1972. and Anne U. Ireland.org/publications/detail. Bradley. Available from http://w ww-wds. Available from http://www.worldbank. Sr i Lanka. “Analysis of Drought Coping Strategies in Baluchistan and Sindh Province s of Pakistan. I nter national Water Management Institute. 1992.unescap. 2006. White. New York: United Nations. 2004.or g/sb_Rising_from_the_rubble. The Dublin Statement and Repor t on the Inter national Con ference on Water and the Environment: Developme nt I ssues for the 21st Centur y. Colombo. Dublin. Washington. Rising From the Rubble: Special Bulletin on the 2005 Earthquake in PakistanLahor e: Reality Printe rs. World Health Organization (WHO). Gilbert. 2003. pdf. 1997. World Meteorologic al Organization (WMO). 2008. January 26-31. and Oxford: UNESCO Publishing and Berghahn Books. United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). Ne w York. Asad Sarwar.who. and Mujeeb Akhtar. 8.or g/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2006/02/01/000160016_20 060201091057/Rendered/PDF/322440PAK. Abstr act available from http://www. 2005. .une sco.” Repor t No. pdf. UN/WWAP (United Nations/World Water Assessment Programme). Water for Life. “Women in Pakistan: A Countr y Profile.aChicago: Universit y of Chicago Press.” Available fr om http://www. David J. | 117 | . 1992.org/water/wwap/wwdr/ wwdr1/table _contents/index.int/hac/cr ises/pak/Pakistan_Aug08. “Pakistan Country Gende r Assessment: Bridging the Gender Gap: Opportunities and Challenges. “Pakistan Countr y Profile.” Statistical Profiles No.” Par is. Drawers of Water: Domestic Water Use in East Afric.” Working Paper 86. Sh irkat Gah Women’s Resource Center. DC.pdf.shirkatgah. 32244-PAK. World Bank.shtml. White.asp?id=335.Intersections of Water and Gender in Rural Pakistan Qureshi.

This essay uses the example of Acumen Fund’s work on drip irrigation to illustrate how market-based solutions can be used to integ rate an effective “voice mechanism” for poor farmers in these support schemes. The success of these companies hinges on making sure that their products and distribution channels meet these smallholders’ needs. and could be used to increase the efficiency of a subsidized drip irrigation scheme rolled out by Pakistan’s government in 2007. a dire prospect for a country largely dependent on agriculture. with an average rainf all of under 240 millimeters per year. Acumen Fund is support ing t he development of t wo companies focused on smallholders. Yet. agriculture continues to be the sing le-largest sector of the Pakistani economy.Tackling the Water Crisis in Pakistan: What Entrepreneurial Approaches Can Add ad r i e nc o u t o n ater availability in Pakistan is quickly declining. The population and economy are heavily dependent on an annual influx of water into the Indus River sy stem coming from neighboring countries and mostly derived f rom snowmelt in the Himalayas. | 118 | . public schemes are being implemented to address the crisis—yet they run the risk of bypassing smallholders. By providing small investment s coupled with management support . According to Pakistan government data from June Adrien Couton is water portfolio manager for the Acumen Fund. W BLUE GOLD Pakistan is one of the world’s most arid countries. Aiming for rapid results. The strateg y has already been very successful in India.

which originates in the northern and northwestern parts of the country. 2 THE LOOMING WATER CRISIS However. no major water project was undertaken. the sector provides livelihoods for 66 percent of the country’s population.000 watercourses comprise the distribution network that takes water directly to the farms— more than half of them in Punjab. and 59. the country’s water infrastructure has been on the decline. Since the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty with India (which determined how the waters of the Indus sy stem were to be shared by the two countries). after decades of deficient investments. employs 43. 19 barrag es. and accounts for 20.200 kilometers of distribution canals. This has g iven Pakistan one of the world’s largest g ravity-flow irrig ation systems. Meanwhile. 3 | 119 | . 12 river-interlinking canals. “the equivalent of six Tarbela reservoirs. Pakistan gets the bulk of its water from the mighty Indus River Basin system. More than 160. This is made possible by one of the largest integrated irrigation networks in the world: 96 percent of the country’s water use g oes to 1 the agricultural sector. many water development projects—including the massive Mangla and Tarbela dams. 35 million-acre feet. and huge volumes of water seep through canals in poor condition. From the commissioning of the Tarbela Dam in 1976 to the of ficial approval of the D iamer-Bhasha Dam project in 2008. and a number of barrages—have been executed in the country.Tackling the Water Crisis in Pakistan: What Entrepreneurial Approaches Can Add 2008. Dams are losing storage capacity due to siltation.9 percent of gross domestic product. link canals. this f ragile balance is coming under increasing stress given the combined pressures of a rising population and an aging infrastructure. with three big reservoirs storing some 20 million-acre feet of water.” is lost in g round seepage annually. According to an estimate by the Ministry of Water and Power. In total. the larg est of the country’s four provinces and the big gest agricultural producer. Population growth of about four mi llion people a year puts significant stress on the country’s resources.4 percent of the total workforce in the country . the irrigation sy stem of Pakistan serves close to 36 million acres of contiguous cultivated land.

As an il| 120 | . The sustainability of ag riculture in Pakistan will largely depend on the judicious use and management of available water resources. More recent data suggest that per capita water availability continues to plummet. but all concur that considerable investment will be required. Estimates of the investments needed to address the crisis vary. It can be tackled by increasing the upstream storage capacity.Adrien Couton Overall. per capita water availability declined f rom 2002.6 cubic meters in 1950-51 to 1136. Approache s to the I ssue Solutions to the challeng e of water avai lability can be explored at three levels.I” Pakistan. by improving the efficiency of the transportation and distribution infrastructure. Infrastructure improvements have received significant focus.000 cubic meter4sa. This was the conclusion of a recent study by the Islamabad-based Sustainable Development Policy Institute. positioning the countr y’s per capita water avai lability only marginally above the threshold level of water scarcity (1. and by better allocating water to end uses. Under the gigantic National Water Resources and Hydropower Development Prog ram—Vision 2025. Failure to be cautious about handling scarce water supplies will have major social implications. the Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) launched the construction of several mediumsize reservoirs as well as major irrig ation extension projects (the Greater Thal and Kachi canals). numerous studies have documented that the sugarcane industry in Pakistan consumes a disproportionate amount of water in return for a low sugar output. however.5 cubic meters in 2003-04. decline ac) companied by grow ing water quality problems. 5 This view in fact echoed the assessment of a former head of WAPDA. Unsustainable water-use practices are likely to be more dif ficult to address. We could import sugar from Cuba at less than half our produc6 n tio n c os ts. who noted in 2001 that “the return [on the] cash crop is not commensurate with the input of water that is required to produce sugar. As an i llustration. the sugar industr y is a powerful l obb y. while planning for and advocating major new reservoirs.

the National Water Resources Development Prog ram (NWRDP ) 2000-2025. Among all solutions considered by policymakers to address the water availability issue. 8 It of fers much more granularity than typical infrastructure intervention. Out of this total investment.3 billion subsidized drip irrigation prog ram. Drip irrigation also delivers i mmediate benefits. the government of Pakistan launched a $1. whi le savings in water range from 40 to 70 percent). drip irrigation has particularly attractive characteristics. drip irrig ation consists of running water through pipes to supply small amounts of water continuously at the base of plants (surf ace drip) or directly at the roots (sub-surface drip) through emitters attached to lateral lines. including water saving s. lining and maintenance of existing canal systems 26 percent. and drainage 14 percent. and investments can easily be spread geographically and over ti me. reduced labor required for irrigation. Drip irrigation in fact of fers many advantages over conventional flood irrigation. 7 THE ATTRACTIVENESS OF DRIP IRRIGATION Very simply. the share of dams represented around 40 percent.8 billion. especially for those cultivating crops in semi-arid regions. water can be conserved and yields increased for farmers. It sought help from the Japanese government to double the ef ficiency in irrigation water use from the present 45 percent to 90 percent. and increased crop productivity. estimated the investment needs for water resource development over 10 years at $14. Finally. With this technolog y. less soil erosion. designed by the government to address the crisis. new canal construction 20 percent. since no heavy capital investments are involved.Tackling the Water Crisis in Pakistan: What Entrepreneurial Approaches Can Add lustration. In August 2007. It is one of the most ef ficient forms of irrigation technolog ies currently available. with the help of drip irrigation. It generates massive increases in the efficiency of water use (the increase in yield as compared to conventional irrigation methods is from 20 to 100 percent. the system is a mechanism to educate end users about the immediacy of the water issue and the urgent need for more water efficiency. Pakistan’s federal minister for food and agriculture set a target | 121 | .

The cost of installing a drip irrigation system is hig h—typically at least $1.913. Most commercially avai lable micro-irrigation sy stems are optimized for fields of four hectares or larger.149. detailed below. Since its commercial acceptance in the mid-1970s.057 3. Yet. irrelevant to the majority of poor farmers. Systems are usually too expensive and impractical to operate in small plots. requiring expensive emitters (to do the dripping) and highly qualified staff to operate and maintain the system. the hardware used in drip irrigation systems has evolved to fit large fields and to minimize management and labor requirements.814 . during which time the number of small farms more than tripled.Adrien Couton of 300. 437.1 Total area of holding in hectares 19.1 hectares in 2000.059.000 acres of land to be brought under drip and sprinkler irrigation in the fi rst year. has shown).000 19.8 3.” 20095. with federal and provincial governments to provide an 80 percent subsidy on drip irrigation equipment. average farm size declined from 5. the standard equipment that is now avai lable is expensive and rather sophisticated. small f armers represent a growing population in Pakistan. and 2000 Census year Average farm size in hectares 1971-1973 1989 2000 5. and hence. This ty pe of program aims for quick results—yet it may be of no benefit for smallholders (as the Indian experience. Data on Farm Size in Pakistan for 1971-73.637 20.404. Indeed. | 122 | . As illustrated below. “Small Farms: Current Status and Key Trends. 1989. existing product offerings and distribution channels in place are typically suited to the needs of larger farmers. As a result.3 3.200 per acre.798 Source: Oksana Nagayets.038 2.3 hectares in 1971-73 to 3. 55 4 Number of farms under two hectares 1.

1 mi llion hectares worldwide. “Shrinking a drip irrigation system from ten acres to a quarter acre not only makes it fit a small farmer’s field. Today.6 million hectares under microirrigation (drip irrigation). International Development Enterprises (IDE). Realizing that no appropriate technologies were available for the smallholder farmers it was working with. and expandability. IDEI designed its systems to be expandable. India has about 0. divided into five or six separate plots. As a result. Jain Irrigation—an Indian company—is one 10 of the world’s leading commercial drip irrig ation companies. IDEI is an Indian nonprofit with 17 years of experience in the development of irrigation technolog ies and market linkages for smallholder farmers. sparking a rapid payback. Additionally. IDEI acknowledged that the basic unit had to be small. India has also seen the development of a leader in drip irrigation technolog y for smallholders: International Development Enterprises India (IDEI). IDEI focused on developing a product to meet these farmers’ needs. As CEO Amitabha Sadangi has explained. and the money invested in the drip system leads to quick improvements in yields and profits. Some manufacturers also conducted their ow n studies by importing the materials before venturing into commercial production of drip sy stems. the company took the quarter-acre plot as the building block within which new technology for small farmers should be developed. Second. Various research institutes conducted experiments on drip irrigation and made people aware of its benefits. Finally. supported by public prog rams.Tackling the Water Crisis in Pakistan: What Entrepreneurial Approaches Can Add LESSONS FROM INDIA Neighboring India has had sig nificant experience with drip irrig ation. IDEI saw affordability as a priority to let smallholder farmers gain access to income-generating technologies. IDEI’s design principles were clear and followed three golden rules: miniaturization. out of an estimated 6. af fordability. “If a farmer can only af- | 123 | . smallholders typically have less than two hectares of land.” Systems are cheap. building on work conducted in Nepal by its parent organization. but it also makes it considerably cheaper. The technolog y gained popularity there in the late 1980s. As a starting point.

being too poorly equipped to follow the procedures that allow them to receive a subsidy. SPREADING THE TECHNOLOGY: ACUMEN FUND’S EXPERIENCE Acumen is a global nonprofit vent ure fund. desig n it so he can use the income it generates to seamlessly double or triple its size the next year. the company’s ambitions were international in scope. financial leverage. IDEI designed a system that worked on a small scale and enabled farmers to gain access to an affordable and ef ficient technology. By of fering a price around 60 percent lower than currently available solutions. Acumen Fund has successfully impacted over 10 million lives so far. While the early focus of IDEI was on smallholder farmers in India. chillies). g row higher-value crops (e. and achieve higher yields. Its country offices in India. Its objective is to create markets for the poor in essential goods and services where such markets do not currently exist. Additionally.g. they are also more heavily penalized by long waiting times to get ref unded than are more wealthy farmers.. This technology generates dramatic economic benefits for small farmers. which has increased water efficiency by 50 percent and increased y ields by over 30 percent. Acumen Fund combines targeted investments. Indeed. the poorer farmers are typically at a disadvantage. With these principles in mind. and Kenya work closely with a team based in New York to identify and support local social enterprises. For them.Adrien Couton ford a drip system that irrigates a sixteenth of an acre to start with. access to drip systems has three consequences: they can suddenly harvest three crops each year instead of one. IDEI makes these benefits accessible to small farmers—even w ithout public subsidies. through over $40 million invested in South Asia and Af rica. founded in 2001 to address the issue of world poverty in a unique way—fi lling a niche between traditional capit al market s and grant-based philanthropy by invest ing in enterprises that bring critical goods and services to low-income markets.” Sadangi has said. With Acumen | 124 | . and management support to build t hriving enterprises addressing the needs of the poor. Pakistan. having little cash at hand.

the ag ronomic conditions were close to those experienced by IDEI across the border in nearby Rajasthan. In 2005.000 investment in GEWP. for-profit wholesale distribution company called Global Easy Water Products (GEWP). The latter’s founder immediately saw the potential value of IDEI’s irrigation technologies for TRDP customers. demonstration plots were set up in Pakistan with a $50. IDEI’s marketing manag er visited the demonstration plots in Pakistan. In October 2006.000 villages in the arid regions of Sindh Province and serves over 130. continued to focus on research as well as advocacy. IDEI and GEWP have sold over 250. Acumen facilitated f urther cooperation between TRDP and IDEI by placing a consultant at TRDP to lead the rollout of the project in Pakistan. and IDEI’s technology proved to work very well in Sindh. which serve as a channel for rural microfinance serv ices and other integrated allev iation programs that TRDP offers to rural communit ies. Acumen’s contacts were with the Thardeep Rural Development Program (TRDP).000 grant from Unilever.000 investment in MicroDrip. a joint venture between TRDP and Acumen Fund. TRDP operates in 3. a group of integrated rural development organizations operating across Pakistan. IDEI.2 million people by improving their nutrition and income levels. In Pakistan. a major nonprofit and t he third largest of the Rural Support Programs. while the for-profit company concentrated on building a sales and distribution model that serves the very poor. impacting the lives of over 1. Acumen Fund introduced IDEI to TRDP.Tackling the Water Crisis in Pakistan: What Entrepreneurial Approaches Can Add Fund’s support. and a $500. and by seconding a staff member at GEWP. The nonprofit.000 households. The demonstration plots were largely successful. which rest ricts farming and sometimes forces the poorest and most v ulnerable families to sell the few assets they possess and migrate to other regions. Meanwhile. Water is s carce. significant prog ress was achieved in the collaboration between IDEI and TRDP.000 systems in six Indian states. That same year.000. Its core model involves mobilizing and organizing villagers into “self-managed” v illage organizat ions. This was followed by a visit by one of IDEI’s | 125 | | 125 | . India. The regions where TRDP operates are a mong the poorest in Pak is tan. In July 2007. IDEI created a socially minded. Acumen Fund approved a $1. Over 2006-07. which had been supporting TRDP’s work. In the past seven years.

The roll-out of IDEI’s low-cost drip irrigation technolog ies in Pakistan is only starting.” By responding to the first | 126 | | 126 | . during which time an installation demonstration took place. A first large-scale shipment of goods was finally sent to TRDP in Apri l 2007.000 and 30. CONCLUSION In 2005.” This challenge was solved by the 1 1T Indus Waters Treaty of 1960. By treating smallholders as customers rather than recipients of charity. and by constructing link canals running for hundreds of kilometers and carrying flows 10 times that of the Thames River. and the specifications of the products that they need. the World Bank’s Countr y Water Resources Assistance Strateg y highlig hted that Pakistan had overcome three challenges related to the water sector throughout its history. on the Indus River. improving their income and health and also generating environmental benefits for these communities. their comfort with the technolog y. the Tarbela. Beas. which remains today. MicroDrip plans to reach between 20.” It was solved by building the world’s largest earth-fill dam.000 farmers over the coming five years. The third major challenge. this approach gives smallholders a voice and ensures that the products and distribution channels used do not only benefit wealthier farmers. and a second shipment was made in July 2007.Adrien Couton area managers in February 2007. The first challeng e came when “the lines of partition of the India-Pakistan Subcontinent severed the irrigated heartland of Punjab from the life-giving waters of the Ravi. and Sutlej rivers. but it has the potential to transform the lives of the rural families that MicroDrip wi ll service. he second challenge arose because there was now “a mismatch between the location of Pakistan’s waters (in the western rivers) and the major irrigated area in the east. The subsidy scheme rolled out by the government of Pakistan can catalyze MicroDrip’s work if the organization is able to leverage subsidies ef ficiently while maintaining its ability to serve smallholder farmers in a proactive manner. is to manag e “the twin curse of waterlogging and salinity. MicroD rip’s work provides direct feedback on the needs of smallholder farmers.

addressed neither inefficient water usage by a rapidly grow ing population nor the strong disparities in access to water between rich and poor farmers. Government of Pakistan (Ministr y of Water and Power/Office of the Chief Engineering Advisor/Chair man Federal Flood Commission). for a more equitable solution. “Study on Effluents from Selected Sugar Mills in Pakistan: Potential Envir onmental.int/r w/r wb. cotton. there is a need for a more decentralized solution. a way to understand the needs of the smallholder farmers.gov. The private sector alone will not solve Pakistan’s water challenges. 7.org/2020/welcome. 2001.” Integr ated Regional Infor mation Networks (IRIN). Data obtaine d from 2020 Vision project of the I nternational Food Policy Research I nstitute (IFPRI).” Sustainable Development and Policy Institute.htm.pdf. To illustrate yield increases and water savings when using drip ir rigation for two of Pakistan’s major crops: sugarcane. Health. 2. 4.pk/reports/annual/arfy04/Chapter_2. | 127 | .sbp. May 14. “Pakistan Water Sector Strate gy—Detailed Strategy Formulation. 6. 2002. Islamabad.org/whats_new/recent_publications/SIP_Final. and Economic Consequences of an Excessive Pollution L oad. As i llustrated by the example of drip irrig ation. 5. Pakistan took measures that addressed issues of upstream water capacity and improved the transportation and distribution infrastructure. By treating farmers as customers.” I slamabad. 3. Akbar and Mahmood A.” Available from http:// www. June 2006.pdf. NOTES 1. Nadia M. however.ifpri. I bid. Such measures. Available from http:// www. private sector-led approaches can be an ef ficient vehicle to g ive a voice to smallholder farmers.nsf/db900sid/ACOS64C9BS?OpenDocument.Tackling the Water Crisis in Pakistan: What Entrepreneurial Approaches Can Add two challenges. 8.reliefweb. and a mechanism for tailoring answers to the water crisis. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affair s. Today. such private sector approaches offer a valuable listening device. but it can inform and strengthen public programs. 33 percent yield incre ase and 56 percent water savings. “State Bank of Pakistan Annual Report FY04. Khwaja. Quoted in “Pakistan: I RI N Spe cial Repor t on the water crisis. http://www. Available from http://www. 27 pe rcent yield increase and 53 percent water savings. Ibid.sdpi.

Nove mbe r 22. Data on Indian land under micro-irr igation was cited by India’s agr iculture minister in re sponse to questioning in I ndia’s parliament in 2006. 11.47. This treaty gave Pakistan rights in perpetuity to the water s of the Indus. South Asia Region. United Kingdom.9.100. Kent.” available from http://164. 2005. Repor t No. vii-viii. 2005. Available from http://www. | 128 | . Oksana Nagayets. Wor ld Bank.ifpr i. 34081-PK. 1602. “Small Farms: Curr ent Status and Key Trends. See “Lok Sabha Unstar red Que stion No. org/events/seminars /2005/smallfarms/sfproc/Appendix_Information Brief. Answere d 06/03/2006. Jhelum.133/lsq14/quest. 10. See World Bank.asp?qref=26264.pdf. Agr iculture and Rural De velopment Sector. Wye College. and Chenab rivers.” Prepared for the Future of Small Farms Research Wor kshop. Pakistan Country Water Resources Assistance Strategy—Water Economy: Running Dry. June 26–29. which comprise 75 percent of the flow of the whole Indus system.

and degrading aquatic ecosy stems—are already chronic. and the United States. disease. in order to put these urban water systems in context. The country’s municipal water supply and sanitation sy stems are presently inadequate. floods. Severe urban water problems—shortages. though entire urban populations struggle with them and w ill suffer increasingly unti l they are addressed. P DIVERSE URBAN WATER PROBLEMS The urban water problems of Pakistan vary enormously from arid. After differentiating among cities. t akistan f aces unprecedented rates of urbanization and urban population g row th in the decades ahead. We S c o a J r . let alone prepared to meet the twofold increase in demand anticipated by 2025. some of the promising paths for addressing them. But it is appropriate as a first step to disting uish among the different urban water resource situations in cities as diverse as Karachi. is Aga Khan Professor in the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at the Massachusetts Institu te of Technolo gy. deteriorating infrastructure. Wescoat Jr. This essay focuses on innovations in environmental design that can help address Pakistan’s urban water problems.Water Shortages and Water-Conserving Urban Design in Pakistan Ja M e Sl. and Peshawar. this article will concentrate on the other side of the coin by focusing on the larger-scale shared contexts in Pakistan that help explain some of the problems. coastal Karachi to the semi-arid plains of Lahore and the hills of James L. These problems af fect the poor most severely. | 129 | . drawing upon examples from Pakistan. and more importantly. South Asia. Lahore. Rawalpindi.

300 10 Islamabad 586. and cultural ways.40 0 2 Lahore 5.James L.191.500 Source: http://www. Precipitation is a measure of local water supply while potential evapotranspiration is the maximum amount of water that would be consumed by evaporation and the transpiration of plants. The difference between these two values for precipitation and potential evapotranspiration rates provides a rough esti mate of the actual evapotranspiration (AE) that can occur. 500 7 Hyderabad 1. City Population (200 2) Hydroclimatic Wate r Budgets and Climate Change The natural avai lability of water in Pakistani cities can be described with water budget diagrams that plot average monthly precipitation (P) and potential evapotranspi ration (PE) rates during the year.558.htm.900 3 Faisalabad 2. In other words. Figure 1 displays the hydroclimatic water budgets for 8 of the 10 largest cities. Islamabad and Peshawar.094 .200 8 Peshawar 1.mongabay. Hyderabad.272.com/igapo/Pakistan.400 9 Quetta 620.275. the small amount of moisture g enerated | 130 | . Selected examples from the larger cities of Pakistan establish this important point (Table 1). institutional. 611. Table 1: Urban Centers in Paki stan City Population Rank City (2002) Rank City 1 Karachi 10. and Karachi have truly arid climates—because the meager monsoon precipitation in these cities (P).900 5 Gujranwala 1.310. does not come close to evapotranspiration demand (PE) in those months.9 00 4 Rawalpindi 1. Wescoat Jr.349. They vary in hydroclimatic. and the key concerns of monthly water deficits (D) and surpluses (S). 1 These budgets indicate that Multan. soi l moisture storage (ST). which occurs only in June through August. infrastructural.500 6 Multan 1.

and Quetta. 2 Irrigation from sur face and groundwater supplies is required to meet the deficit. and for barani crops like peanuts in the northern Punjab city of Jhelum. Lahore. Figure 1: Hydrocl imatic Water Budgets for Eight Large Cities 3 KARACHI 200 180 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 J F MA M J J AS O N D PE P ST AE D S | 131 | . That is. The monsoon climates of Faisalabad. Peshawar. Peshawar and Quetta have more continental climates. Flooding in other cities results from poor drainage design or extreme events.Water Shortages and Water-Conserving Urban Design in Pakistan by the monsoons is rapidly consumed—resulting in a very dry climate. but not for most row crops. Monsoon rainfall does exceed potential evapotranspiration in Rawalpindi. in no case does annual precipitation exceed the annual actual evapotranspi ration that can occur. and Rawalpindi are progressively more mesic (though still semi-arid). What these cities share is a net annual water scarcity. which generates runof f that must be routed downstream. Rainf all is adequate for arid and semi-arid vegetation.

Wescoat Jr. HYDERABAD 250 200 150 100 50 0 J F MA M J J AS O N D PE P ST AE D S MULTAN 250 200 150 100 50 0 J F MA M J J AS O N D PE P ST AE D S | 132 | .James L.

Water Shortages and Water-Conserving Urban Design in Pakistan FAISALABAD 250 200 150 100 50 0 J F MA M J J AS O N D PE P ST AE D S LAHORE 250 200 150 100 50 0 J F MA M J J AS O N D PE P ST AE D S | 133 | .

RAWALPINDI 250 200 150 100 50 0 J F MA M J J AS O N D PE P ST AE D S PESHAWAR 250 200 150 100 50 0 J F MA M J J AS O N D PE P ST AE D S | 134 | . Wescoat Jr.James L.

monsoon variability is so g reat that the primary ef fect of climate change on precipitation in Pakistan is increased u nc er t ain ty. PE P ST AE D S Figure 1 depicts average climate conditions in the mid-20th century. which indicate the enormous inter-annual as well as decadal variability in precipitation (Figure 3). Whi le it may be tempting to view the higher frequency of peak events in recent years as an indicator of climate change.Water Shortages and Water-Conserving Urban Design in Pakistan QU ETTA 180 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 J F MA M J J AS O N D Source: Thornthwaite Associates (1963). Pakistan’s cities face variable climatic conditions each year. Another way to visualize these patterns of surplus and scarcity is a 100-year plot of monthly rainfall data. | 135 | . which range from no precipitation at all to over 500 millimeters (mm) in a single month. as shown in the minimum and maximum monthly precipitation records for Lahore (Figure 2).

| 136 | .James L. Figure 3: M onthly Precipitation Data for Lahore LAHORE PRECIPITATION: 1900-2000 7 00 6 00 5 00 4 00 PRECI P 3 00 2 00 1 00 0 Y EA R Source: Pakistan Meteorological Department (2008). Wescoat Jr. Figure 2: Monthly Minimum and Maximum Precipitation in Lahore LAHOR E MI N A N D MA X PR EC I P I T A T I ON 60 0 50 0 40 0 30 0 20 0 10 0 0 M a x im u m pr e c ip it a t io n (m m ) M in im u m p r ec ip it a ti on (m m ) MON TH Source: Pakistan Meteorological Department (2008).

Water Shortages and Water-Conserving Urban Design in Pakistan

Urban water budgets can also be measured in terms of surface water inflows from river and g roundwater resources (renewable and nonrenewable), for which cities have various allocations. Setting water rights aside for the moment, each city has dramatically dif ferent surface and groundwater resources. However, today none of Pakistan’s cities has a major riverf ront. All rely on dif ferent combinations and technologies for g roundwater withdrawal from tubewells and longdistance surf ace water transfers. Groundwater remains largely unregulated. Larg e-scale surface water transfers rely on a small reservoir and vast canal sy stem—which brings us to the human aspects of water resource systems. Urban Water Resource Syste ms and Human Problems Pakistan’s urban water systems vary as much in social as in natural terms. They supply different industrial economies in different municipal and provincial institutional contexts. Additionally, the federal government lacks overarching jurisdiction of urban water systems, as in the United States. It comes as little surprise, then, that Pakistan’s urban water problems vary each year. One city may suffer flood damag es whi le another experiences severe shortages or waterborne disease outbreaks. To examine the current array of urban water problems, three national newspaper archives ( Dawn, The Nation, and The News were searched ) in October 2008, using the search term “water,” and selecting the first 100 records taken f rom each source. After deleting irrelevant references (e.g., to other countries), the news accounts were coded and sorted by topic (Figure 4). The array of water-related problems in Fig ure 4 will be discussed in later sections of the paper. The initial point is that urban water issues constitute nearly 30 percent of the total. This may at first seem unsurprising, as some 40 percent of the population is urbanized and rates of urbanization and urban population growth are increasing rapidly. However, access to safe water and sanitation and resilience to water hazards are all very salient issues in rural areas as well.

| 137 |

James L. Wescoat Jr.

Figure 4: Water Problems Reported in National Newspapers (Dawn , The Nation , and The News , October 2008)
CURRENT WATER PROBLEMS—2008

10 % 19 % 10 % U rb an I rr ig at io n I nt ern a tio n a l 10 % W ate r q u al i ty; 4% 15 % 4% ru ra l wa ter

Hy d ro p ow er ; d am s I nt erp r ov i nc ia l Cl i ma te; Fl o o d in g eco l o g y; fi sh e ri es

2 8%

Figure 5 indicates the geographic distribution of articles on urban water problems. Not surprisingly, given its climate, size, and systemic infrastructure problems, Karachi had by f ar the largest proportion of articles on shortages, pollution, waterborne disease, and loadsheddingrelated water problems. Lahore suf fers from some of these same problems, though the Pakistani media also reported drainage, flooding, and disease vector problems in this city, including a dengue outbreak. The capital region also reported serious water supply and distribution problems, as well as flood hazards in the Lai Nullah. Only a few water articles dealt with cities outside these large centers, such as Hyderabad. In fact, secondary cities have problems of frequency and severity comparable to those of large cities. This re4 cl s flects a search engine sampling bias for large city artiInes. ome articles, secondary city problems were lumped into general discussions. Nonetheless, a more serious deficiency is the limited coverag e of innovative responses to these problems at any scale.

| 138 |

Water Shortages and Water-Conserving Urban Design in Pakistan

Figure 5: Water Problems Reported By City (Dawn , The Nation and The News , October 2008)
URBAN WATER PROBLEMS—2008

Karachi Lahore Islamabad All Ci ties Rawalpindi Other

INNOVATIVE WATER- CONSERVIN G URBAN DESIGN
Pakistani cities also vary in their responses to water problems, and these responses include innovations in water-conserving desig n. It is useful to disting uish three types or aspects of urban water conservation: a. Waterworks conservation—i.e., hydrologic features and infrastructure b. Water resources conservation—i.e., water use, re-use, and quality c. Water experience conservation—i.e., equity, enjoyment, sy mbolic meaning, hazards Water-conserving design occurs at the intersection of these three fields—or to put it another way, water-conserving design encompasses all three aspects of conservation (Wescoat 1995a and 2007).

| 139 |

Water-conserving landscape design is less welldeveloped. the Urban Resources Centre of Pakistan (URC ). The rainwater harvestingovement has expanded dramatim cally worldwide (Agar wal and Narain 1997). However. Akhtar Hameed Khan (2005). tanks. ings sti ll have hot-water heaters. and at Karachi University. Bengali 2003. advanced building water conservation systems. and ventilation systems. although it has enormous potential.James L. Energ y-conserving water systemMany upper-income builds. Water use efficiency Urban plumbing codes. and conventional chiller plants— all in areas subject to f requent loadshedding. and other org anizations (Ahmed 2008. Karachi’s warm coastal cli mate offers good potential for passive solar heating. and ornamental irrigation standards can reduce water use at the high-income end. fixtures. Karamat Ali (undated) reports rainwater harvesting in the area of the Himalayan resort city of Murree. 6 b. It comes as a surprise that these innovations. Pakistan is a leader in urban community-based planning and design. initiated by Dr. led by the architect Noman Ahmed. air conditioners without condensate collection. Wescoat Jr. such as in the context of fivestar hotels and corporate building s in Pakistan. beginning with rainwater harvest ing. while mentioned. the desert area of Cholistan. It ranges from rooftop diversion into g ardens. are not yet mandatory in most South Asian cities. c. We can describe this potential by following the hydrologic cycle. Examples of such efforts include the Orangi P ilot Project (OPP). and Hasan 2000). NED University of Karachi’s work. cooling. spearheaded by the architect Arif Hasan. the Karachi Water Partnership (KWP). a. led by the geographer Simi Kamal. and underground cisterns in densely settled locations—and which does not yet include the types of Awami tanks analyzed by Noman Ahmed (2008) in Orang i—to urban open space impoundments and small watershed collection 5 structures in outly ing areas. low-water use . | 140 | .

the trend from dilution to pure pollution. irrig ation of droug ht-adapted plantings. as well as wastewater re-use for fountains. Grey water re-us. e. The new Ag a Khan University Faculty of Arts and Science campus in Education City. the Canal Road in Lahore was built for irrigation purposes and acquired recreational and aesthetic functions that have additional potential. have untapped potential in metropolitan areas such as the Ravi River floodplain in Lahore. However.Water Shortages and Water-Conserving Urban Design in Pakistan d. the Malir and Lyari Rivers in Karachi. or as complex as re-plumbing buildings to divert washwater to outdoor irrigation uses. the Lai Nullah in Rawalpindi. and others (Van der Hoek 2002). Stormwater best-management pract. Yet even more important are the exceptions. and also in water-conscious households of every class. though their application in monsoon climates poses technical challenges. e which happens as a matter of necessity kn tchi abadi ia s (Pakistan’s slum settlements). larger question about how rivers have become sewers— that is. Green infrastructure Sanitary wastewater systems raise a . and toilets (Gorini 2008). and most cities suffer seasonal monsoon drainage and related problems. and they could be en| 141 | . coupled with floodplain restoration. The Islamabad torrents and Lai Nallah in Rawalpindi were partially embraced in the original plan for the new capital city prepared by Doxiadis Associates in the 1960s.waaer sewage disRt w charge occurs extensively and informally in Pakistani cities. This refers to the re-use of washwater. fire control. It can be as simple as bucket collection of washwater. Ecological treatment of sanitary waste. managed use of constructed wetlands and advanced pond and lagoon treatment systems. Karachi. plans to use stormwater harvesting to support plant g row th.iceshese are advancing T in Pakistani cities. g. For example. This type of large-scale ecological engineering requires coordinated metropolitan and provincial water manag ement that is difficult to attain or sustain. It is used in market g arden production with serious health hazards. f.

How relevant are these desig n innovations for each other? To pose the question dif ferently. as in Islamabad. and Lahore’s more comparable with those of Delhi? How do Pakistan’s urban water innovations relate to national and provincial water issues? These questions point toward a larger-scale contextual approach. Each city has undertaken different design interventions in dif ferent hydroclimatic and water management contexts. and the Capital Development Authority. D. which have been paramount in the major water planning studies for Karachi. Less well-understood is the nature of water-conserving experience. h. Wescoat Jr. urban water problems | 142 | . are Karachi ’s design innovations more like those of Mumbai. Among the newspaper articles sampled in Pakistan. Karachi has pioneered the Orang i Pilot Project. and discharged in sewers—it can become disconnected from everyday conservation practice. Con ser ving water exper. especially in metropolitan areas that strive to consciously build upon or break with tradition.C. one described a local theatrical performance about the Karachi Water and Sanitation Board. When water is largely invisible to the public—conveyed in pipes. In the newspaper article search cited earlier. These water-conserving design methods complement those of eng ineers. which is as true in Washington. and Rawalpindi seems poised to undertake a new approach to floodplain design. stored in underg round tanks.James L. 7 The article reminds one of the theater movements that advocate for social justice in South Asia (Nag ar 2002 and Enwezor 2003). Lahore. ience water-conserving desig n The measures described above are increasingly well-known and incorporated in professional practice worldwide and in nong overnmental organization (NGO) prog rams. Current debates over coastal and estuarine land uses in Karachi constitute another opportunity for green infrastructure design. Lahore has combined cultural heritag e conservation w ith urban infrastructure upgrading. hanced through an ecological approach to urban floodplain design (Mahsud 2008 and Mustaf a 2005).

Shared Historical-Geographic Context of Urban Water Systems Pakistan’s major cities continue the legacy of Indus Valley civilization and urbanization that is nearly five mi llennia in duration. and Mustaf a 2000). I have previously written reviews of the past 50 and 500 years of water management in Pakistan. which left many formerly riparian cities stranded in the Cholistan Desert (Mughal 1997). and for two reasons. First. they are a vital part of that much larger context. a shared framework that can lead urban water planning in creative new directions. This record includes urban water innovations such as baths. and Sultanate city-building in central Pakistan. one should concentrate on the shared contexts of urban water management in Pakistan.000 years of urban water management (Wescoat 1999 and Wescoat. The early history of urban water desig n also includes Gandharan cities in northern Pakistan. drains. THE SHARED CONTEXT OF URBAN WATER PROBLEMS AND PLANNIN G To provide a wider perspective on urban water problems. the ancient city-settlement in what is today Sindh Province (Jansen 1989). and Persianate canal irrigation sy s- | 143 | .Water Shortages and Water-Conserving Urban Design in Pakistan constituted almost 30 percent of all the articles dealing with water. Yet what of the other 70 percent? For starters. Let us begin with the shared historical-geographic context of urbanization. and it would be interesting to extend this to the full depth of 5. their relationships within that context constitute. Ghaznavid. and a sewerage system at Moenjo Daro. We need to consider urban water problems within a broader context. consider that some 95 percent of consumptive water use in Pakistan is for irrigation agriculture. for better and worse. These shared contexts range from the historical and cultural geog raphy of Indus civilization to integrated river basin management of the 21st century. Halvorson. Hindu Shahi. Second. A full history of Pakistan’s urban water management would also have to take into account the well-documented Ghaggar-Hakra river channel change.

Rahman. Shared Agroeconomic and River Basin Planning Context The development of the Indus Basin after 1947 consolidated the largest contig uously irrigated region of the world. Comparable tensions in the western United States are slowly but steadily driving transfers of water from the irrigation to the urban | 144 | . in part through new secondary city-building and low-cost infrastructure upg rading to address the coming urban boom.James L. and the second a regressive shift toward g ated communities with independent water and power supplies. which bespeaks f ailures of urban governance. grafting international standards of urban water management w ith innovative hydraulic eng ineering in the Punjab Irrig ation Department. which won an Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1995 (Davidson and Serageldin 1995). To give a sense of scale. e. Future Indus Valley urbanization might reweave these disparate urban trends. Wescoat Jr. some of Pakistan’s link canals connect rivers of the Punjab that carry a larg er annual volume of water than the Colorado River. tems in Mughal Lahore. the entire Subcontinent has witnessed two divergent urban trends—one toward the innovative engagement of architects in low-income water and sanitation prog rams (Hasan 2000.g. Islamabad is a fascinating exception (Mahsud 2008 and Mumtaz 1985).200 cusecs (cubic feet per second) from Kotri Barrage on the lower Indus River—but this accounts for only 8 3. Ahmed 2008. and Hasan 2008). The independence period w itnessed the development of the Indus Basin Management Prog ram. British water management consciously bui lt upon this heritage. Consider that Karachi receives an allocation of 1.. which had strong ag roeconomic and hydropower foci but a limited connection with urban water infrastructure—and even fewer connections with modern architecture in Lahore and Karachi. Most recently. and Pervaiz.4 percent of total allocations from the barrage. Irrigation accounts for an estimated 95 percent of consumptive water use—but has only 35 to 40 percent water use efficiency. as undertaken in the Khuda ka Basti Incremental Development Scheme implemented by the Hyderabad Development Authority in Pakistan.

Halvorson. Upgrading river basin modeling tools has direct analogues with the needs of megacity water management. The Indus Basin optimization model is more detai led than any such model for any basin in the United States. which includes SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) operating systems. It should be underscored that Pakistan has some of the most sophisticated irrigation and river basin management research in the world (Wescoat. where ag ricultural production. reservoir sedi mentation. inf rastructure deterioration. and their linkag es w ith large-scale river basin management (ibid. The experiment is vital to Pakistan’s future. The World Bank (2008) water sector capacity-building project will build upon past successes by updating the Indus Basin model and training the next generation of water engineers and managers. institutional capacity-building needs. it needs substantial updating and refinement. but is in jeopardy due to waterlogging. Interestingly. The interdependency of Pakistan’s urban and agricultural economies cries out for provincial and national policies that link urban planning with river basin management. asset management. The process is slow in both countries. and rural livelihoods are major national and provincial policy goals. The sur vey of recent news articles reflects these problems. For example. It is notable that the World Bank’s 2005 Pakistan Country Water Resources Assistance Strategy. loadshedding. the World Bank has published a very similar assessment of water problems in India.). salinity. agricultural water shortages for the rabi (winter) crop affect food prices and urban as well as rural livelihoods. which diag nosed national water sector problems. | 145 | . and capacity building. However. River basin development in Pakistan is one of the g reat experiments of modern water management. but more so in Pakistan. food security. which brings us to the subject of a shared institutional context. and Mustafa 2000). g ave little attention to urban water issues. innovations. and it has enabled scientists to run joint scenarios of climate change and water sector investment alternatives that have not been replicated elsewhere on that scale to date (Wescoat and Leichenko 1992).Water Shortages and Water-Conserving Urban Design in Pakistan sector. 2005). and water management needs from the farm to the nation as a whole (Briscoe et al. new sensor sy stems. most of whom are and will be urban professionals.

Institutional mechanisms for interprovincial negotiation have developed and hold promise. with the Sindh Water Management Ordinance of 2002 one notable example (World Bank 2007). and might prudently be avoided by urban water planners. What bearing do these macropolitical issues have on urban water management? First. national. has worked. a provision invoked recently for the first time in the Indus Waters Treaty’s history.org/. reservoir operations. and second. Still. negotiated ag reements have consequences that cascade from river flows to canal diversions and waterfront environments. Shared Institutional Context The Indus Basin Development Program grew out of the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960 between India and Pakistan. share these roles and concerns. and the Northwest Frontier Province contend with the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) reg arding water allocations. These issues contribute to highlevel political tensions on provincial. Sindh. encourag ing developments have occurred among South Asian urban water organizations. negotiation is centered in the cities. SaciWaters—South Asia Consortium for Interdisciplinary Water Resource Studies. Punjab. brokered by the World Bank and financed by a consortium of “friendly countries. City water ag encies are also pursuing reform (Hasan 2000). Arbitration. Within Pakistan. upstream and dow n. and proposed hydropower projects. | 146 | . Wescoat Jr.saciwaters. Both interprovincial and i nternational levels of political tension are generating news. there is no professional association of Pakistani utilities and water managers comparable to the American Water Works Association or the International Water Association. floods. International disputes have arisen over Chenab River releases and upper Jhelum and Chenab hydropower projects in India. Provincial water institutions are attempting reform. the glass is half-full. These include: a.” It is rightly celebrated that this treaty has weathered wars. http://www. Interprovincial water conflicts between Punjab and Sindh date back more than a century. and droughts for almost 50 years. and international levels. The cities of Pakistan. Institutionally. However.James L.

c. http://www. FROM METROPOLITAN TO COSMOPOLITAN WATER MANAGEMENT This paper has sought to discern the shared contexts of urban water problems and innovations in Pakistan. the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council. Pani Pakistan. connected with one another by NGO networks facilitated by decades-long civil society networks convened by the International Institute for Environment and Development.aspx. which bespeaks the increasing ly cosmopolitan character of urban water management. and many more—all of which have close counterparts across South Asia. and others. These organizations are sharing experience and innovations. from information technology to irrigated cotton. Thus.adb. large-scale water management from Harappan civilization to the present.Water Shortages and Water-Conserving Urban Design in Pakistan b.ddws. invites skepticism about the promise of a shared context. these entities constitute a ty pe of multitrack diplomacy as well as professional and institutional development.org/Water/sawun/default. In their own way. SAWUN—South Asian Water Utilities Network. It has sought connections w ith long-term. SACOSAN—South Asian Conference on Sanitation. the Water Eng ineering Development Centre. the International Water and Sanitation Centre. f rom local to international scales. the final shared context considered here is that of nongovernmental civi l society org anizations like the OPP. They have “scaled-up” f rom their own cities to inspire and draw support nationally and internationally.asp. KWP. and they are benchmarking performance across international as well as interprovincial boundaries.in/infosacosan/Home. The commitment and power of these urban organizations cannot be underestimated. URC. The main question that arises from this contextual analy sis of | 147 | .nic. http:// www. It is a cosmopolitanism of many hues that includes pro-poor water prog rams that strive to improve the health and livelihoods of millions. The prominent role of the state in this analysis. and from municipal to international water governance.

Wescoat Jr. I sense that Pakistan is reaching a point where providing basic domestic water needs will be deemed a strict oblig ation of society and the state to all citizens. that are latent in Pakistan’s cities and their larger contexts. My research in L ahore found extensions of a natural right to water to animals (Wescoat 1995b). and a host of other design exemplars. Within the cities. ideally in a consortium of universities—comprising both public and private institutions. f unctional. A leading university in each of Pakistan’s major cities could take on this challenge. social. and conveyance uses. Professor Noman Ahmed’s (2008) survey research in Karachi has documented a nearly universal belief that basic domestic water needs are an inherent public good. ecologi- | 148 | . These findings are in accord with a growing body of inquiry and international opinion that access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation is a natural right. is a major design problem in the broadest sense of the term that can build upon the community-based desig n of the Orang i Pi lot Project. some of the poorest urban residents in Pakistan have only 10 lpcd of drinking water—and it is all polluted (Ahmed 2008). However. 9 Water-conserving design is an ethical. or 62 lpcd for domestic use. which must be increased from a water supply standpoint to encompass related water w ithdrawal. This paper has briefly noted recent trends in water-conserving design that have enormous promise in professional as well as community-based design.James L. treatment. There are answers. however. and will find that there is suf ficient freshwater to fulfill this duty on a national scale. CONCLUDING THOUGHTS The media search carried out for this essay did not find any newspaper articles on this fundamental question about Pakistan’s urban water f uture. along with the next level of water supply for human wants and ecosystem needs. Pakistan’s urban water problems is whether this wider perspective can help answer the question of how the tens of millions of new urban residents wi ll secure safe water and sanitation in the coming decade. Aga Khan Development Network projects. How that duty is met. Human drinking water requirements are variously estimated as 50 liters per capita per day (lpcd).

1997.” Pakistan Water Partnership. but they lack an expansive desig n vision that is integrative beyond their boundaries. Anil. Dying Wisdom: T he Rise. They discharge wastewater that must be more w isely re-used and treated in the ecohydrologic system to reduce downstream health hazards and environmental deg radation. Cities consume a relatively small proportion of their water withdrawals through evaporation. is the scale of design vision.Water Shortages and Water-Conserving Urban Design in Pakistan cal. Cities are professional desig n centers. that vision was partially attained in the concurrent design of Islamabad and the Indus Basin Development Program. “Urbanism vs Environmental Constraints. Karamat. with canal commands. CSE. | 149 | . It is true that both projects had limitations and failing s. Still. and cultural policymaking for the larger Indus Basin that encompasses them all and many of their sister-cities in the region. and river basins. This. A half-centur y ago. rachi: ts a Oxford University Press. It is necessar y. needed to address Pakistan’s water crisis today. Finally. Water Supply in Karachi: I ssues and ProspecK. and that resolve its seemingly intractable institutional water conflicts at all levels. these limitations defi ne the next g eneration of desig n problems to be pursued in fresh integrative ways that meet the natural rights of all of Pakistan’s citizens. that restore its ecosystem services. but of course not sufficient. and Sunita Nar ain. REFERENCES Agarwal. Role of Rainwater Har vesting in Urbanization—Pakistan Per spective. and humility. political. This final role of cities is perhaps the least clearly envisioned at present in Pakistan and globally. 2008. and cultural necessity for meeting and managing future urban water demand in Pakistan. regional aquifers. Noman. Ah med. Fall. cities can provide leadership in economic. it seems to me. and Potential of India’s Traditional Rainwater Harvesting Systemsew Delhi: N. Ali. including its agricultural ecosystem and economy. Cities draw upon surface and groundwater resources outside their municipal boundaries. for all of the reasons discussed in the larger geographical sections of this paper. Undated. but far too hig h a proportion through pollution.

MA. Bengali. 2008.com.R. Okwui. Ancient Cholistan: Archeology and ArchitecturL. 2003. Briscoe. The Politics of Managing Wate. John. M.rIslamabad and Karachi: Sustainable Development Polic y I nstitute and Oxford Universit y Press. Architecture in PakistanSingapore : Mimar. Jansen. Daanish. 1 Pakistan Meteorological Depar tment. 2002. Leuven. 1997.ahore: e Ferozsons. and Per vaiz Amir.” World Archaeology 1 (2): 177-92. Dan. “Average climatic water balance data of the continent. 95 Nagar.James L. disser tation. stfilder n-Ruit. Water Economy: Running Dry. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. Wescoat Jr. Scaling up of the Orangi Pilot Project Programmes: Successes. London: I nter national Institute for Environment and Development. “Ur ban Wastewater: A Valuable Resource for Agr iculture: A Case Study from Har oonabad.D. “Lessons from Karachi: the role of demonstration. Mustafa. Part II. y Van der Hoek. with Arif Hasan. 2008. Personal communication with author. Pervaiz. and Ismail Serageldin. 2 Khan. a O Gorini. 2005. .” ACME. Ar if. and Perween Rahman. 1989. Thornthwaite Associates. Arif. “Women’s Theater and the Redefinitions of Public. 1985. Enwezor.pakmet. Doxiadis’ Plan for Islamabad: The Making of a ‘City of the Future. Boston. Inter national Water Management Institute. Cynthia C. Hasan. “The production of an urban hazar dscape in Pakistan: moder nity. Exp eriments with Truth Transitional Justice and the : Processes of Truth nd Reconciliation. Belgium. 2005.” Publications in Climatolog16 (1): 1-266. 2005. Don Blackmor e. Richa. 63. 2003. Vol. Michael. 1963. 2008. Weather figures obtained from www.’” Ph. vu lnerability and the r ange of choice. Washington. 2000. . An International E-Journal for Critical Geographers(1): 55-72. The me Water. Architecture Beyond Architectur.pk. Akhtar Hameed. Nove mbe r 11. Private and Politics in North India. 2002. | 150 | . 2008. Wim. Colombo. Mughal. Asia. Davidson. Ahmed Zaib Khan. Payette Associates. Mumtaz. Agr iculture and Rural Development Unit.” Human Se ttlements Discussion Paper. South Asia Region. Manuel Contijoch. documentation. DC: World Bank.” The Annals of the Association of American Geographers (3): 566-586. Pakistan. Orangi Pilot Project: Reminiscences and Reflections .K. “Water supply and sewage disposal at Moenjo-Daro. Mahsud. Ger many: Cantz. 1995. mapping and relationship building in advocacy for improved urban sanitation and water ser vices. “Constantinos A. K.. Sri L anka.eLondon: Academy Editions. Pakistan Country Water Resources Assistance Strategy. Karachi: Oxford University Press.6.” Re se arch Repor t. Kaiser. Failures and PotentialKarach i: City Press. Usman Qamar. eds.

A National Modelling Asse ssment. Humankind Azra and Peter Me adows. Report no. 43784-PK. Univer sity Press. Colorado. 1992. r6 ____ ______. “Water sector capacity building and advisor y ser vices project ( WCAP). World Bank. 2.Water Shortages and Water-Conserving Urban Design in Pakistan Wescoat. NOTES 1.” International Journal of Water Resources Development: 39116 406. “Complex River Basin Management in a Changing Global Climate: Indus River Basin Case Study in Pakistan.. which is biased against smaller citie s. eds. James L. While evapotranspiration modeling has advanced significantly since these estimate s were produced. Washington. and Daanish Mustafa..” Asian Art and Culture(Spr ing/Summer): 21-36. ____ ______. Karachi: Oxford . 2007. DC: World Bank. 5. and Islamabad due to similarity with Rawalpindi. These Thornthwaite water budget diagrams employ a common methodology and provide rough por traits of local urban conditions. See the technical literature on r ainwater and stor mwater harve sting on the need to avoid contamination and disease vec tor breeding in these facilities. James L. 1999. “The ‘Right of Thir st’ for Animals in Islamic Water Law: A Comparative Approach. | 151 | . 3. 1500-2000. Barani rops are grown in dr yland areas that do not r eceive canal c irrigation. DC: World Bank. James L. 2007. 1995b. The sampling of articles by “r elevance” is biased toward those with the most frequent hits. 37923-PK. Center for Advanced Dec ision Suppor t for Water and Environmental Systems (CADSWES). “Water Management in the Indus Basin of Pakistan: A Half-Centur y Per spective.. “Waterwor ks and Culture in Metropolitan Lahor e.” Environment and Planning D : Society and Space 13: 637-54.” LA! Journal of Landscape Architectu1e : 38-41.” In The Indus River: Biodiversity.. 4. Wescoat Jr. Gujranwala is omitted due to similarity w ith Lahore.” Project Appr aisal Document. “Project appraisal document on a pr oposed credit … for a Sindh Water Sector I mprovement Phase -1 Project. Jr. Resources. no. these graphs facilitate the types of comparisons made in this essay. 416-428. “Water Conse rving Design. 5. and Robin M.” Repor t no. 2000. ____ ______.. Wescoat Jr. “The Histor ical Geography of Indus Basin Management: A Long-Term Perspective. ____ ______.1995a.” Collabor ative Paper. Washington. Sarah Halvorson. Boulder. there may also be reporting bias. Leichenko. 2008.

Available from http://www. June 10. | 152 | . but it is still a relatively small fraction of total water allocations in southern Sindh. Jamshoro. Lahore (UET). This figure pr obably needs to be adjusted upwards to r eflec t continuous urban diver sions vis-à-vis se asonal and rotating agr icultur al diversions. asp?id=117 70 6. Karachi Univer sity. The Centre for Science and Environment in Delhi has compile d an extensive set of ur ban and rur al examples that link environmental. and other s. technological.pk/pr int1. “Underlining water and sanitation problems thr ough the atre. and other s. 2008. Public universitie s with water resources engineer ing programs include Universit y of Engineer ing and Technology.” The News. Quaid-i-Azam University.6. Private universities that could make outstanding scientific and policy contributions include L ahore Univer sity of Management Sciences (LUMS). There is also a proposal to double Karach i’s share. 7. 9. Severely water -scarce cities like Chennai have adopted mandatory rainwater har vesting for new construction.com. Peshawar University. and social aspects of their sustainability (Agarwal and Nar ain 1997). Aga Khan Universit y (AKU).thenews. 8.

Figure 1 shows the increase in urban and total populations in Pakistan. California. More than one-third of its residents may not have access to safe drinking water. Its total population increased f rom 82 million in 1980 to 160 million in 2005. Inc. This essay presents the trends in availability and quality of drinking water in Lahore. Chico. The analysis and opin ions exp ressed here are the authors’ and do not reflect the views of MWH Americas. Over the same period. The major focus is on the pressing issue of groundwater overdraft and the deteriorating quality of water in and around Lahore. the percentage of the population living in urban areas increased f rom 28 to 35 percent. institutional.Securing Sustainable Access to Safe Drinking Water in Lahore an i t ac h a u d h r ya n d r a B i aM. ch a u d h r y ahore is the second largest city in Pakistan. a trend emerging in many Asian countries as urban-focused industrial and service sectors gain relative importance over the ag ricultural sector. in Walnut Creek. Anita Chaudhry is assistant professor of economics at California State University. Chaudhry is an environmen tal engineer with MWH Americas. L URBAN GROWTH AND STATUS OF WATER PROVISION IN LAHORE Pakistan is a predominantly rural country. Rabia M. and environmental f actors driving these trends. and explores some of the economic. and the largest Asian city that relies completely on groundwater for its drinking water needs (Mcintosh and Yniguez 1997). | 153 | . thoug h its urban population is steadi ly increasing. Inc.

and have followed similar trends in population increase. | 154 | . Available data from international ag encies regarding access to safe drinking water and sanitation in urban and rural areas of Pakistan are presented in Table 1. According to United Nations data. The two largest cities in Pakistan—Karachi and Lahore—together account for roughly a third of the urban population in Pakistan. Chaudhry Figure 1: Urban Population in Pakistan 2 50 2 00 To t al P o pu l at i on Urb an Po pul at io n 1 50 1 00 50 0 1 95 0 1 9 55 19 6 0 1 9 65 19 7 0 1 97 5 1 9 80 1 98 5 1 9 90 1 9 95 20 0 0 2 0 05 20 1 0 2 01 5 Source: United Nations data. Table 1: Access to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation in Pakistan Access to Safe Drinking Water (percent) Year Urban Rural Urban Rural 1970 77 4 12 N/A 1975 75 5 21 N/A 1980 72 20 42 2 1985 83 27 51 1990 82 42 53 1994 77 52 53 2000 96 84 94 2002 95 87 92 6 12 19 42 35 Access to Sanitation (percent) Source: Gleick et al.4 million to 7 million residents in the 25-year period spanning 1980 to 2005. (2006). Lahore’s population doubled from 3.Anita Chaudhry and Rabia M.

Secondly. and around 24 percent in rural areas of Pakistan (Rosemann 2005). by 2015. Poor water quality that endangers the health of users is often a sig n of poverty and water insecurity. giving Lahore the unusual distinction of being the largest city in Asia | 155 | . and must be part of the basic definition of water access. “access” was very loosely defined. COMPLETE RELIANCE O N GROUNDWATER Water supply in Lahore relies exclusively on g roundwater resources. the figures may not accurately capture the experiences of water users reg arding water access. Another reason to be concerned about access to water in Pakistan’s urban areas. that they seem inconsist ent with anecdotal evidence. “the proport ion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation” (Pernia and Alabastro 1997). One of the key issues is that this information was collected by surveys of water providers or public water supply agencies. and occur at the expense of future residents. If t hese data are t aken at face value. (2006) offer several reasons to question whether these data present an accurate picture of water and sanitation access in Pakistan. in fact. One of the major assertions of this essay is that such improvements in water access are temporary. Also. is that improvements in water access are being achieved by the unsustainable mining of g roundwater aquifers. especially in northern and central Punjab Province. A third reason to question the data is that the surveys did not adequately measure the level of water quality for residents. Independent estimates judg e that such access is around 30 percent in urban areas. Gleick et al. Therefore. Given these reasons. closer inspection reveals increases in water supply and sanitation from 1994 t o 2002 that seem implausible given the fact that public expendit ure on these services did not change significant ly. which is to halve. we are left to piece together other evidence regarding access to safe drinking water. rather than by surveying consumers. t hey indicate that Pakist an has met the seventh Millennium Development Goal.Securing Sustainable Access to Safe Drinking Water in Lahore The data in Table 1 show very high levels of access to safe water and sanitation—so hig h. in that it could mean a walking distance of any where from 5 to 30 minutes to the water source.

The upper P unjab plains are underlain by a very productive. Many households have their own groundwater pumps to aug ment the public water supply. locally referred to as tubewells. Household-owned water pumps may therefore constitute a significant component of total groundwater extraction in Lahore. Shah. the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement Survey estimates that in 2006-07. While the number of existing privately owned wells and the annual volume of water extracted from them are not known. Chaudhry 1 that relies exclusively on groundwater (Mcintosh and Ynig uez 1997). 2 Average dai ly supply is not uniform within the city. In 1995. compared to the larger public water pumps. and Akhtar 2003). this groundwater is then supplied directly to distribution networks. As the population of the city has increased. public water supply agencies have responded by installing more electric wells and pumping a greater amount of groundwater. to pump groundwater from 300-600 feet below ground surface. On one extreme are the wealthier households. Despite this increase. By 2007. unconfined aquifer sy stem that has f ueled the growth of not only urban water demand but also irrigated ag riculture in Punjab (Qureshi. The Ine quity of Groundwater Usage in Lahore Inadequate public supply and the presence of productive groundwater aquifers have allowed for the emergence of a duality in water access in Lahore. which can | 156 | . These privately owned electric water pumps pull water f rom shallower depths. water supplied to the city by the primary public water supply agency amounted to 156 million gallons per day (Mcintosh and Ynig uez 1997). the public water supply does not meet the f ull needs of residents. The private extraction of g roundwater has allowed residents to cope with the deficiency of public water supply. and they allow residents to augment the intermittent public water supply.Anita Chaudhry and Rabia M. 34 percent of the urban households in Punjab had a motor pump to secure their water (Government of Pakistan 2008a). Public water supply agencies in Lahore use electric groundwater wells. and most households receive public supply for only a few hours each day. the volume of water had jumped up to 350 million gallons per day (Lahore Development Authority 2008).

and which can adopt measures to protect themselves from water quality concerns. private provision of water has become a very important source of water for urban residents. it is cheaper to monitor and control the quality of drinking water at one centralized location. These economies may also exist for water quality monitoring. Residents pay for the operation and maintenance of household-owned water pumps in addition to the health costs from drinking contaminated water. and distribution sy stem more cost-effective than a disag gregated hybrid system where public utilities only provide water to some residents some of the time. On the other extreme are poorer households that rely only on intermittent public supply for a few hours a day. may work to the benefit of wealthier households. and small-scale private provision satisfies the unmet need? It may be useful to examine the evidence from other large and small urban centers of the world. If these economies exist. Public water supply and sanitation infrastructure has simply not kept pace with the growing demand.. the average cost of providing water to a user declines as the number of users increases. Moreover.Securing Sustainable Access to Safe Drinking Water in Lahore af ford the capital and energ y costs of installing and operating their private electric well pumps. i. Water use in Pakistan is not metered.e. thus giving no incentive to conserve water. The importance of this issue cannot be overstated. rather than at several dispersed sites. A survey of major cities across 26 Af rican countries reveals that small-scale. The Ine fficiency of Groundwater Usage in Lahore The existing situation is not only inequitable but also inefficient. Public water supply systems have very high economies of scale. where it exists. cleaning. This suggests that the aggregate costs of coping mechanisms adopted by all households may be several times more than the cost of delivering clean water from a central.). etc. which may have much higher water use per capita. Is a central storage. commercial. it would mean that Lahore could reap tremendous benefits from investing in a central water storage and delivery system.e. i. As a result. and water bills are usually based on land area and the nature of property usag e (domestic.. public infrastructure. a | 157 | . efficiently run water distribution system.

This private provision is small-scale. These private provisions are often informal arrangements. Tanzania. and reliable economic information is lacking. evidence suggests that it is the poorest section of society that pays a higher cost. In Lahore.e.50 per cubic meter.50 per cubic meter on average. existing reports and anecdotal evidence sug gest that Pakistan’s poor also spend a g reater fraction of their income than the rich to secure water—and the water they receive is of worse quality than what the rich get for a lower cost (Pattanayak et al. (Government of Pakistan 2008a). Although detai led studies have not been conducted in Lahore. 2005 and Rosemann 2005). 60 percent of the residents in Nairobi. In Pakistan. this private provision takes the form of household. P rivate provision of water (i. Kenya.. Within households.Anita Chaudhry and Rabia M. and as high as 80 percent of the residents of Khartoum. Sudan (UN Habitat 2006). an averag e of about $1-$2. Priscoli and Wolf (2009) document that the poor pay a far hig her percentage of their income and available wealth for water. while my riad private mechanisms fulfill the remaining demand. water that does not come from the centrally owned sy stem) is responsible for water provision to 56 percent of the residents of Dar es Salaam.or neighborhood-owned groundwater pumps. there is an urgent need to collect data on the prevalence and use of water pumps in order to better understand the status of water access. or of local privately owned water pumps or boreholes. There is a g row ing recog nition among water policy experts that these private water sources need to be better understood and incorporated into the urban water policy framework. and can take the form of water vendors selling water f rom a truck. The poor who are connected to a water utility pay $1 per cubic meter and the unconnected poor pay $5. When water is not provided by a central authority. Chaudhry duality is observed in many cities—a large-scale public sector provider supplies and satisfies some of the demand. this is also associated w ith greater gender inequalities—women are responsible for collecting water and a g reater fraction of their labor is expended on this task.50-$16. privately owned and not regulated by the public authorities. and as mentioned earlier could be responsible for water access to at least onethird of Punjab’s urban population. It is | 158 | .

Another very i mportant dimension of inadequacy in the existing situation is that at current extraction rates. groundwater availability at shallow depths is either entirely absent or too polluted. At current rates of extraction and wastewater disposal. such as Kamalia and Pakpattan.Securing Sustainable Access to Safe Drinking Water in Lahore the poor—especially poor women and children—who suffer the most from such public utility shortcomings. Figure 2: Average Groundwater Depth Measured at Two Locations in Lahore 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 East Lahore (Military Farm Cantonement) West Lahore (PCRWR Regional Office) Source: Personal communication with Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources. groundwater resources are being depleted for future generations. for the residents and the water managers of the city. where water 3 This is a serious concern tables have been lowered by about 65 feet. The depletion may be even worse in other areas of Lahore. The city government currently has no existing plans to prepare for the impending groundwater depletion. All existing evidence indicates that groundwater aquifers are being mined at a rate much higher than they are being recharged. Figure 2 shows that water tables have fallen by about five feet over the last five years at two different locations in L ahore. | 159 | .

Shah. some 77 percent of private well owners use their own funds to install tubewells and electric pumps. Groundwater resources are exploited to supplement surface water supplies in order to meet the g rowing water demand of agricultural and urban/industrial sectors. 2006). cooking. which extract up to 43. especially that of Punjab. Shah. The number of tubewells in Punjab increased by more than 300 percent from 1980-2002. etc.4 billion cubic meters of g roundwater (Qureshi. Estimates suggest that there are more than half a million tubewells for irrigation purposes in Punjab. Therefore. Pakistan has an extensive surface water irrigation system—it is in f act the largest contig uous irrigation system in the world—but increases in agricultural production have rendered the extensive canal network insufficient to meet ag ricultural needs. cleaning. Chaudhry THE ROLE OF AGRICULTURAL WATER USE A discussion of groundwater depletion would be incomplete without acknowledging the active groundwater economy in Punjab’s agricultural sector. due to uncontrolled and unreg ulated use of g roundwater. The ag ricultural economy of Pakistan. and Akhtar 2003). has become increasingly g roundwater-dependent. not only Punjab but the entire country could face serious food shortages. and their spatial distribution already shows concentration in northern P unjab. Only 2 percent of Pakistan’s freshwater resources are used for domestic purposes. However. and Akhtar 2003). a discussion of g roundwater use has to pay due attention to the role of ag ricultural water use (Gleick et al.Anita Chaudhry and Rabia M. aquifer overdraft has made pumping more expensive and wells are going out of production (Qureshi. Without groundwater avai lability. because groundwater-dependent Punjab delivers more than 90 percent of agricultural production in the country. Pakistan’s groundwater economy is largely user-fi nanced. More than 60 percent of farmers in Punjab rely on groundwater to meet crop water requirements. which include drinking. | 160 | .

once groundwater becomes contaminated. | 161 | . In Lahore. The data presented in Table 2 were collected and analyzed by the Pakistan Counci l of Research i n Water Resources (PCRWR). Due to the slow movement of groundwater (on the order of a few feet a day). which may indicate the rusting of water supply pipelines. long -term engineering solutions. Concentrations of i ron were also found to be beyond permissible li mits. Contaminants from these and other sources easi ly seep into the subsurface. making shallow groundwater too polluted to be useful. The results were compared against drinking water standards established by the World Health Organization (WHO). the most imminent threat to drinki ng water is bacterial contamination through contact with sewage (Government of Pakistan 2008b). this means that contaminants seeping in f rom the ground directly i mpact the reserve of groundwater that could potentially be extracted for human consumption. Sixteen different tubewell locations in L ahore were selected for water quality monitoring from 2002 throug h 2006 and analyzed for comprehensive water quality. The relatively continuous alluvial unconfined aquifers in Punjab have few low-permeability barriers capable of confining the flow of g roundwater at any level. sewage treatment and waste disposal are particularly significant. For the purposes of water quality. since wastewater is not treated.Securing Sustainable Access to Safe Drinking Water in Lahore WATER QUALITY CONCERNS Water quality concerns have been increasing in Pakistan due to the discharge of untreated industrial and ag ricultural effluents into unprotected water bodies. where residents rely exclusively on groundwater for drinking. However. contamination mig ht remain localized in certain areas. This is an issue affecting Pakistan i n rural and urban areas alike. 4 Accordi ng to the Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Arsenic was found above the WHO established guideline of 10 parts per billion in almost all of the monitored sources. it is extremely difficult to clean up and requires costly.

aromatic hydrocarbons. etc. bacterial contamination (which include total and fecal coliforms. and their derivatives. and radioactive contamination. nitrate. Pakistan’s EPA has established adequate standards for drinking water for physical parameters. organic contaminants (pesticides. These org anic pollutants belong to an ever-increasing f amily of compounds that often cause damage to the human body through chronic exposure.Anita Chaudhry and Rabia M. and Raoof (2008). etc. i (heavy metals. Chaudhry Table 2: Major Contaminants in Drinking Water Sources of Lahore Year of Monitoring 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Number of Samples Collected 16 16 16 16 16 Percentage of Samples Beyond Permissible Limits 6 0 50 56 56 31 10 0 100 10 0 100 43 37 43 63 50 56 10 0 100 10 0 100 Major Contaminants Iron Arsenic Bacteriological contamination Total percent of unsaf e samples Source: Kahlown. Aquifer depletion increases the costs of groundwater extraction because it takes more energ y to pump | 162 | . However. energy use is very closely tied to water use. However. essential inorganics a.) are not reg ulated on a compound by compound basis (Government of Pakistan 2008b). herbicides. and so the scale of the issue is i ll-defined. PCRWR is planning to begin monitoring select organic compounds w ithin the next few years. agricultural runof f. and even gasoline stations. Seepag e of these contaminants into groundwater can arise from a number of ubiquitous sources such as industrial ef fluents. fluoride. such Es col). Data about the concentrations of these pollutants are scarce in Pakistan. Tahir. ENERGY AND WATER USE When a city the size of L ahore relies solely on groundwater.).

Per capita bottled water consumption in Pakistan increased by 164 percent from 1999 to 2003 (Gleick et al. households are indirectly charged for pumping via electricity charg es. 2006). one must take into account the capital costs of boring deeper wells and installing larger capacity pumps. At a time when cities in the rest of the world are moving away from bottled water consumption due to a broader recog nition of the environmental concerns associated w ith shipping water and disposing of plastic bottles. and the inequality of access to water.Securing Sustainable Access to Safe Drinking Water in Lahore water from g reater depths. which underlines the trends of poor public supplies. such an increase in a poorer country like Pakistan only highlig hts the urgent need for the reliable provision of clean drinking water. but there are no permits or fees required to pump water from household premises. The primary feature of these coping mechanisms is the unchecked pumping of g roundwater aquifers. BOTTLED WATER CONSUMPTION The most recent factor in water supply in urban areas in Pakistan has been the spectacular g rowth of bottled water consumption. such extraction is problematic for three reasons: (i) The current allocation of water is inequitable because richer households—which have better access to private groundwater pumps than do poorer households—may be able to cope better with the lack of publicly provided | 163 | . Instead. As this essay has soug ht to highlight. the deteriorating quality of private provision. CONCLUDING THOUGHTS AN D THE ROLE OF INFORMATION The story of water provision and availabi lity that is unfolding in urban and rural areas of Pakistan has a common theme: The inadequate delivery of publicly provided water and g rowing demand have induced consumers to i mplement private coping mechanisms to secure water for their basic needs. Water charges have to be paid to the city water utility. In addition.

accountability of water service providers. public water supply sy stems have hig h economies of scale.e. Cur r entl y. which includes thousands of chemicals such as pesticides. As discussed above.. and preservatives. and proper sewage processing and disposal. This essay has also presented the most current data available on water quality in Lahore. and disposal of sewage are essential and should be top priorities in order to protect public health. treatment. for example. Chaudhry (ii) (iii) water. The existing water distribution is inef ficient. Poorer residents pay a higher fraction of their income on obt aining clean water or go without it. and municipal wastewater ef fluents. thereby threatening the ability of f uture residents to access water. has proven to be a water quality concern in Lahore. per capita costs are lower if all users are connected to a central well-functioning sy stem. water-use metering and billing based on water use.Anita Chaudhry and Rabia M. Efforts by the Pakistan EPA to establish water quality standards are an excellent first step. Even low-concentration exposure to these chemicals often manifests after many years. all of which have contaminated shallow aquifers. the public water supply system in Lahore is plagued by | 164 | . however. Unfortunately. i. and tends to be overlooked in the face of more prominent water-borne diseases caused by inadequate sanitation. The current patterns of groundwater pumping and waste disposal are leading to the depletion of groundwater aquifers and the contamination of shallow aquifers. Arsenic. information about organic contamination. There has been an unmitig ated release of agricultural. industrial. can be cost-effective and pro-poor. A wellfunctioning public water supply system. as compared to the costs per user if each individual implements private coping mechanisms. Water supply and sanitation experts assert that a well-functioning public water supply system should feature marg inal cost pricing. Also of essence is the management and monitoring of industrial and ag ricultural ef fluents in order to mitigate chronic exposure to poisonous chemicals. but the adequacy of their implementation remains to be seen. solvents. is scarce. plastics. Proper hauling.

There is an urgent need to study these patterns so that water policy can be better informed. Comprehensive geological studies need to be undertaken to measure the relationship between irrig ation water use in Punjab and declining water tables in Lahore and other urban areas. hence leading to a market f ailure. Most policy solutions to water scarcity that have been under discussion and implementation merely increase the number of storage reservoirs and the capacity of distribution networks. The reverse problem may also occur. quality. and water charg es are based on the size of a property rather than on use. However. there is a lack of metering of water use. Information access should be a vital part of water service delivery and reg ulation. We recommend that a good first step would be to learn more about some of the issues highlighted above. Access to information has a critical impact on water users’ behavior and willingness to pay for i mproved water services. or that water quality cannot be observed without cost.Securing Sustainable Access to Safe Drinking Water in Lahore several problems in all of these areas. and consistent information regarding water quality must be provided to users. Sustainable management of water | 165 | . useful. water use and quality. an improvement in service delivery without a g reater investment in infrastructure is also likely to be very challenging. if not impossible. A lack of information on water quality may cause water users to undervalue certain water resources. Revenue generation is weak. Reliable. Such approaches are short-sighted and will only lead to a faster depletion of the aquifers. There is very limited information available on groundwater availabi lity. and groundwater depletion existi ng in many urban centers of Punjab. when water users may perceive bottled water to be of higher quality and may be wi lling to pay more for it. How can Lahore move forward from the current situation? An increase in volumetric rates without an i mprovement in service wi ll be politically difficult. Information regarding g roundwater depletion should also be made available to water users and water managers. Some users may not understand the relationship between health and water. If prices were to increase. The perception of unlimited water quantity is misleading. users may substitute lowerquality water. The case study of Lahore presented in this essay aims to highlight the current patterns of population growth. distribution is inefficient. and the relationship between withdrawal and recharge.

pk/depts/fbs/statistics/pslm_ prov2006-07/pslm_prov2006-07. Increases in agricultural production. This production-oriented perspective continues in the debate about groundwater use and extraction. Discussion about water scarcity in Pakistan has been preoccupied with the role of water in agriculture.Anita Chaudhry and Rabia M. Water | 166 | .statpsak.07: The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources . 2006. Kah lown. Peter H. Groundwater is largely seen as a reserve water source for irrigation and food production. water management in Pakistan has focused primarily on harnessing abundant surface water flows for agricultural use. insuf ficient surface water supplies. Assor ted data and information. We must look toward long-term solutions without compromising the needs of future generations. Available fr om http://www. 2008. it is important that groundwater resources be better characterized.htm. Summary Repor t of Water Quality Assessment Sur vey of “Clean Dr inking Water for All” Pr oject. yields.. Ministr y of the Envir onment. rather than for people. DC: Island Pre ss.A. Chaudhry resources has to take the limits of pumping seriously. 2008. Urban areas have followed the broader trend of groundwater use by extracting g roundwater to meet drinking water needs. Washington. Available fr om http://www.. A. Heather Cooley. Governme nt of Pakistan. Lahore Development Author ity. and depletion rates needs to be collected in order to better understand the effects of users on each other. and Emily Lee.gov. improve system efficiency by reducing wastage. David Katz. Assorted data and information. Governme nt of Pakistan. and increase conservation. In order to achieve sustainable management. Raoof. and the supply of electricity to rural areas have all contributed to a boom in groundwater extraction in the countryside. Islamabad: Pakistan Council of Research in Water Re sources. 2008b. “Pakistan Social & Living Standards Measurement Sur vey 2006-07.environment. Pakistan Environmental Protec tion Agency (EPA). This focus has been on water as an input in f arm production.gov. Tah ir.html. M. It is time that we look at surface and groundwater in a holistic way. So far. REFERENCES Gleick.” Islamabad: Federal Bureau of Statistics. T he World’s Water 2006. 2008a. M. and A. Information regarding recharges.pk/index.

ch/english/files/T_WrNn. Pr iscoli.org/Documents/Books/Second_Water_Utilities/ default. Manila..lk.alliancesud. 1997.html. Available .65 million (Hanoi). 2005.pdf.Securing Sustainable Access to Safe Drinking Water in Lahore and Sanitation Authority (WASA). Bishkek. 1997. Public water supply is managed by the Water and Sanitation Authorit y (WASA). Wolf.iwmi. Yniguez. Dale Whittington. London: Ear thscan Publishers.000 (Bishkek). Rosemann. with a population of 1. Second Water Utilities Data Book—Asian and Pacific Region Asian Development Bank. situated some 140 kilometer s from Lahore. Inter national Water Management Institute. NOTES 1. 2003.asp. “The Groundwater Economy of Pakistan. 1. “Coping with Unreliable Public Water Supplies: Aver ting Expe nditur es by Households in Kathmandu.” Working Paper 64.’” Swiss Coalition of Developme nt Organizations and ActionAid Pakistan. Data from British Geological Survey. “Drinking Water Cr isis in Pakistan and the Issue of Bottled Water : The Case of Nestlé’s ‘Pure Life.000 (Ulaanbaatar). Available from http://www. 2009. and Cebu relied on groundwater for 100 percent of their public water supply.gop. 19. and 605. Available from http://www. and Mujeeb Akhtar. Meeting Development Goals in Small Urban Centers: Water and Sanitation in the World’s Cities 2006. 2.8 million in 1996. Tushaar Shah. L ahore. “Aspects of Urban Water and Sanitation in the Context of Rapid Urbanization in Developing Asia. Lahore..C. Pakistan Country Se ries No. 695. WaterAid.adb. Nepal. eds. Nils. Ar thur C. 2006. 4 Pernia. Jer ome Delli and Aaron T.” Economic Staff Paper Series. According to a survey of water utilities in Asian citie s. and Cesar E. 1.” I nformation sheet. Asad Sarwar. Qureshi. Mcintosh. Er nesto M. Asian Development Bank. Hanoi.pdf. and Stella Alabastro. The size of the population served in each of the se cities at the time of the survey was 3. Jui-ChenYang.9 million (Lahore). Available from http://www. New York: Cambridge University Press. United Nations Human Settlement Pr ogram (UN-Habitat). Managing and Transforming Water Conflicts. from http://www..3 million (Cebu). Pattanayak. 2005. 2002. “Groundwater Quality: Pakistan.” Water Resources Research1(2): 1-11. Ulaanbaatar. which is re sponsible for the delivery of water and sanitation ser vices | 167 | .org/pubs/working/ WOR64. Subhrendu K. Faisalabad. pk/lda_wasa. and K. Bal Kumar. relies on groundwater for 98 percent of its water supplies (Mcintosh and Yniguez 1997).lda.

There ar e significant spatial variations in groundwater salinity.000 mg/l. In 1995.000 or more milligrams/ liter (mg/l) (Water Aid 2002). | 168 | . and considerable effor ts are devoted to delineating the “sweet” (freshwater) zone s that can be tapped for mining. This infor mation was repor ted by the staff of the Lahore r egional office of PCRWR thr ough per sonal communication with one of this e ssay’s author s in November 2008. Tubewells in L ahore r outinely har vest water at depths greater than 300 feet below ground surface in or der to avoid saline or contaminated water. groundwater in Punjab is naturally saline due to an influx of salts from the Indus River and its tributaries. No domestic consume rs receive continuous 24hour water supply. In addition to anthropogenic pollution. For purposes of compar ison. the average daily supply to a household conne cted to the grid was 17 hours per day (Mcintosh and Yniguez 1997). 4. Chaudhry to most of Lahore’s r esidents.Anita Chaudhry and Rabia M. and Raoof 2008). Gr oundwater pumping also mobilizes salts on the subsur face ( Kahlown. Tahir. Occasional zones of saline groundwater in Punjab contain dissolved salts of 20. the aver age salinity of seawater is 35. 3.

Public Health. as well as its disposal.000 years ago. There were covered drains. the expenses associated with an inadequate public water supply did not even include the public health costs imposed on society due to diseases attributable to a lack of clean water and inadequate disposal. and the Health for All by 2000 campaign (which grew out of a 1978 conference on primary health care and a recognition of the environmental causes of disease. Moreover. perfectly sloped to maintain a continuous flow. and Pakistan: Why We Are Not There Yet S M i aa l t a F a t is instructive to recall that almost 5. Two thousand years ago. the provision of drinking water in Mohenjodaro (a city in present-day Pakistan). | 169 | I . “Willingness to pay” studies in the Punjab in the 1990s demonstrated that the costs of coping w ith an intermittent and unreliable public water supply exceeded the costs of providing a modern water sy stem. Nor was ancient Pakistan unique. Meanwhile.) There is little need to keep repeating these statistics year after year. Clean Water. The economic case for providing clean water has been obvious for many decades. was better than what exists in many cities of the country today. Some of these are still in operation. the costs related to waterborne diseases have been well-known since the United Nations Water and Sanitation Decade of the 1980s. there were aqueducts in Rome for bringing in and disposing of water. The research relating health and disease to water quality and availabi lity is also clear. and the wastewater received primary treatment in stabilization ponds before it was discharged into the river. Samia Altaf is a physician and public health/development sp ecialist.

if the correlations with health are so clear.Samia Altaf They are all part of the work that has gone into the fashioning of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). As a consequence. then. | 170 | . the discovery of the germ theor y of disease has shifted the focus from environmental factors and sanitation reform to immunization against the diseases caused by a poor environment. Today. and polio affected the rich as well as the poor. many of society’s most powerf ul citizens—such as doctors and businesspersons—were in the vanguard of sanitation reform. the miasma theory. and one where there is not. In both instances. the low level of technology meant that the privileg ed could not isolate themselves f rom the afflictions of the poor. has been transformed into two cities—one where there is clean water. ascribed the spread of disease to the bad odors of wastewater carried by the wind—so the risk of disease was thought to be shared by all. then why have there been so few positive results? Why had so little been achieved by the end of the Water and Sanitation Decade and the Health for All movement? Given this history of failure. the money and the technical expertise to develop and monitor water prog rams have generously been made available to Pakistan over the past two decades— almost half a billion dollars from the World Bank alone. Moreover. Every city. whooping cough. with a strong lobby of the powerful pushing for reform. an erroneous theory of health. In addition. can we expect the outcome of the MDGs to be any different? HISTORY OF SANITATION REFORM A brief g lance at the history of sanitation reform in 19th-century Europe and North America may prove instructive. especially in the developing world. Diseases such as pneumonia. First. reform became a political issue. bottled water. technology (cars. Second. All of this. leads to a deceptively simple question: If the technology exists. ironically. and home filtration. and if funds have been invested in programs for improving Pakistan’s water quality. There were essentially two reasons why. for instance) allows the rich to live separately from the poor. if the economic and social costs of an inadequate water supply are known.

and why something as easily doable as providing water to cities has not been done. such as the linkages between cigarette smoking and cancer.000foot glacier. by advocacy. As long as there is no effective demand from the citizens. by professional and consumer g roups. and eventually by legislation and regulation. after all. and by citizens and their representatives. and bullets to the top of a 20. perhaps most importantly. and as long as there is no strong political lobby behind the demand for decent water. or on the health costs of inadequate water supplies. Why there is no demand from below is a different issue that needs understanding in its own right. shoes. Twenty-five years ago. Similarly. is a country that can transport men. The essential point of this history is simple: Sanitation reform and the provision of clean water are political issues. and Pakistan: Why We Are Not There Yet The powerful political lobby for sanitation reform has disappeared. bread. specific actions were taken by civil society. Once the facts were in. tents. And. Clean Water. It has shown that it can find smart and competent people to do a particular job when it wishes to.Public Health. all in order to bring about policy changes. or the use of seat belts. This was done by lobbying. It was done by aligning the incentives and disincentives of | 171 | . And the people who live in those sections of the city without services rarely have a voice in the political systems of a country like Pakistan. So there is not much to be gained by presenting yet again the research on waterborne diseases. This. The argument that Pakistan lacks the resources to provide clean water to its citizenry does not work any more. Surely it can transport water to the cities—if it wished to do so. what can be done about this going forward? PUBLIC HEALTH TRIUMPHS Suppose we look at this matter as we do other public health issues. This country is a nuclear power. the research clearly made the links. blankets. What we need to understand is why this very simple problem has not been fixed. we cannot expect much in the form of outcomes. the argument that Pakistan lacks the infrastructure to transport water to its cities is not quite believable either.

For example. and decentralized decision making. community participation. We know the economic and social case for change. There have been no revolutionary breakthroughs. We even know that people are willing to pay for better service. a design based on the use of indig enous technology. deliver much more. the latter has existed for 5. We know how to provide water in terms of technology. Under state mandate. In the case of water and health. The ultimate success of the OPP model is dependent on a steady and continuous municipal water supply and a larger overall sanitation disposal system. It is embarrassing even to repeat the same research at meeting after meeting. the first phase is long over. or of cig arettes in destroy ing them. states paid for public service messages regarding the importance of safety belts in saving lives. such as the Orangi Pilot P roject (OPP). and at any rate are out of the jurisdiction of the local community. and so advertisements for cigarettes eventually disappeared. These elements are not always available. Then there is a time to focus on the strategy for change. there were concrete chang es instituted in the interest of citizens. and stabilization. manufacturers of products were forced to comply with safety reg ulations. does not work. There is no new evidence that overturns the old consensus—the results are consistent and very robust. In addition. We know that the donor model. it is still all about pipes under the ground. But the OPP design has not been adopted across the country. The point here is straightforward: There is a time to get the f acts right to support action for chang e. We see something of the same process being followed today on issues related to climate change.Samia Altaf stakeholders in a fashion that had very clear consequences. There could be a stage where we might discuss the relevance of project design—though even that time has passed. the print and electronic media were not ready to suffer adverse consequences. A public educated about the issues was able to bring pressure on fellow-citizens practicing unsafe behaviors. And since many of the stakeholders were not prepared to pay the cost of consequences. We know that other models.000 years. w ith a standardized cookie-cutter approach to program design. filtration. | 172 | . personal behavior also changed. And in this fashion. in study after study.

learn from history. and no one has a clue about what MDG means. government. In truth.S. Islamabad has been rewarded w ith additional aid for failing to use effectively the assistance of the past seven years. is in a strong position. This would be a strategy that mobi lizes civil society. and Pakistan: Why We Are Not There Yet HOLDING PAKISTAN ACCOUNTABLE So we need to move to the next stage. serious thoug ht ought to be given to the “how” as well as to the “what. including the United States. Step two miles outside Islamabad. where civil society and other consumer groups provide close oversight and monitoring of publicly funded projects. They should hold the government and its implementing contractors accountable. especially the U.” Who will be held accountable for delivering results? What are the consequences to the Pakistani government should it f ail to produce acceptable results? To date. WAY FORWARD: A MOBILIZED CIVIL SOCIETY How to hold Islamabad accountable? One way is to mobilize civi l society through the ef forts of citizens. We have seen that this model works. for instance. lean heavily on the g overnment in Islamabad to deliver results. there are many examples of successf ul prog rams. This can be done by helping | 173 | . At county and state levels in the United States. At this time. Clean Water. they should.Public Health. Appealing to the Pakistani government or to elites by referencing MDGs as a monitoring tool is not going to have the slig htest impact. MDG -watchers are already say ing that it does not look like Pakistan will meet these goals. To translate this commitment into practice. on behalf of the people of Pakistan. and that is comprehensive and has real and direct consequences. Donors are committed to helping Pakistan and its people. As the donor community. or talk to people beyond the immediate inner circle of the donor community in Pakistan. there have been no consequences whatsoever for Pakistan’s government. that permits and even encourages the participation of citizens. the international donor community. thinks of helping Pakistan and identifies what needs to be done. and devise a strateg y based on models that have worked.

Institutions such as the Woodrow Wilson Center need to leverag e their position and share this kind of knowledge and expertise. Those who care about Pakistan and its f uture need to lobby donors to insist that such accountability be built into any assistance package. and if it is to help win the hearts and minds of the Pakistani people. establish self-evident performance measures. Sett ing conditions or asking Islamabad for specific actions will not always be popular among Pakistan’s political elite—but doing so is both possible and necessary. perform continuous internal objective monitoring. standing. note that the Internat ional Monetary Fund’s (IMF) 2008 economic support package insisted on an agriculture tax (though the IMF lat er toned down its insistence on this tax). Pakistanis think that the donors have a hidden agenda. which would provide an opportunity for mid-course corrective action and the redirection of social sector program activities based on objective evidence. so as to alert the new administration to a basic but crucial fact: if American assistance to Pakistan’s social sector is to be effective and help improve the lives of ordinary citizens. Such g roups can work to educate civi l society about issues. Given that the Obama administration plans to increase development assistance to Pakistan. such as the rise in v iolence in Pakistan and a loss of faith in the United States (as demonstrated by research by the Pew Center). Research funded by the American government has demonstrated that t here has been little change in Pakistani healt h indicators in past decades. There are precedents. has not delivered anything for the common man. Recent development s. American f riends of Pakistan can play a key role in this debate and can influence the direction of f uture policy. | 174 | . especially Washing ton. and develop checks and balances.Samia Altaf to create citizen groups comprised of people of credibility. including that provided by the United States. The battle for hearts and minds is being lost. and technical expertise. yet this battle is not one for the military to win. show that the Pakistani people are losing confidence in the international community. it must go beyond the simplistic analysis and cookie-cutter model of program development of the past. Because development assistance from the past seven years. Instituting performance-based st andards and strict accountability in program desig n are critical for the credibility of donors.

New thinking needs to be applied to this old problem.Public Health. have not worked. | 175 | . and should be discarded. based on outmoded methodolog y and the failure to insist on adequate accountabi lity. Clean Water. and Pakistan: Why We Are Not There Yet The old methods.

Vali Nasr. Shahid Javed Burki. Shahid Javed Burki. Bikash Pandey. Chri stopher Candland. Irfan Muzaffar. Michelle Riboud. World Bank (South Asia Human Development Department). Edward Gresser. 2005 Islamization and the Pakistani Economy Khurshid Ahmad. Hartw ick. Sabira Qureshi. Zareen F. Mirza Qamar Beg. Vladislav Vucetic and Achilles G. Ishrat Husain. Parvez Hasan. John R. Dorothy Lele. Salman Humayun. Ali. 2007 Education Reform in Pakistan: Building for the Future Shahid Javed Burki. Douglas A. Shahrukh Rafi Khan. Abid Farooq. Aram Zamgochian. Gary Huf bauer and Agustín Cornejo. Isobel Coleman. Grace Clark. Robert Looney. Tariq Rahman. Jonathan Mitchell.Recent Asia Program Publications PAKISTAN PROGRAM PUBLICATIONS Hard Sell: Attaining Pakistani Competitiveness in Global Trade Manzoor Ahmad. Naqvi and Ijaz Nabi. Ahsan Saleem. Hammond. Charles Kennedy. Asad Umar. International Crisis Group. Karin Astrid Sieg mann. Sanjeev Minocha. Omar Noman. Saleem H. Parvez Hasan. United States Agency for International Development. Salman Shah. Shaghil Ahmed. Shahid Javed Burki. 2008 Fueling the Future: Meeting Pakistan’s Energy Nee ds in the 21st Century Mukhtar Ahmed. Esperanza Gomez Jelalian. Saeed Shafqat. Adamantiades. Ishrat Husain. 2004 | 176 | .

Soedradjad Djiwandono. 142 – Foreign Addiction: Assessing India’s Energy Security Strategy Mikkal E. Barry Naughton. Marwan M. Jomo Kwame Sundaram. Wade. Kraidy. Jennifer Robertson. Herberg. Problems and Implications for the United States Cong Cao. Can Fukuda Do Bet ter? Shinju Fujihira. Veronica Pedrosa. Martin. November 2008 Special Report No. But What’s the Solution? Robin LeBlanc. Jun Saito. Drew McDaniel. Juli A. MacDonald. Tanvi Madan. 141 – Japan’s Declining Population: Clearly a Problem. J. Keiko Yamanaka. Jeffrey Logan. January 2008 Ten Years After: Revisiting the Asian Financial Crisis David Burton. Worapot Manupipatpong.Recent Asia Program Publications ASIA PROGRAM PUBLICATIONS Going Global: Chinese Oil and Mini ng Companies and the Governance of Resource Wealth Jill Shankleman. Shaw n Powers and Mohammed el-Nawaw y. Leonard Schoppa. Ilene Grabel. October 2007 | 177 | . July 2009 Kuala Lumpur Calling: Al Jazeera English in Asia Trish Carter. Mark Weisbrot. Robert H. Steven Dunaway. Robert Pekkanen. Meredith Jung-En Woo. 139 – Japan’s Political Mess: Abe Failed. October 2008 Special Report No. 140 – China’s Galloping Economy: Prospects. Ron Somers. May 2008 Special Report No. July 2008 Special Report No. Atria RaiTene. Sherry L.

Kirk W. Kerry Dumbaugh. Blasko. Krsiten A. 135 – The Chinese People’s Liberation Army: Should the United States Be Worried? Dennis J. September 2006 | 178 | . Hague. Peter R. Larsen. White. R. Darcy. Cole. Bernard D. 138 – Taiwan’s Dilemma: A Democracy Divided Over National Security Thomas J. 134 – Six-Part y Stall: Are South Korea and China Part of the Problem or Par t of the Solution? Sung-Yoon Lee. September 2006 Special Report No. 132 – Edging Toward Full Empowerment? South Korean Women in the Workplace and the Political Arena Seung sook Moon. September 2007 Special Report No. Tracy S. Elizabeth W. Heiner Flassbeck. 137 – More Than A Concrete Jungle: Urbanization in Japan Carola Hein. Ky ung-ae Park. 133 – The Avian Flu Challenge in Southeast Asia: The Potential of Public-Private Parnership Tjandra Yoga Aditama. David Reddy. 136 – The Policy Space Debate: Does a Globalized and Multilateral Economy Constrain Development Policies? Jomo Kwame Sundaram. Ronald K. April 2007 Special Report No. Bojiang Yang. Gilman. Shirley Kan. Litai Xue. June 2007 Special Report No. DuVernoy. Gourlay. November 2006 Special Report No. Elaine Zuckerman. Carlos Correa. Gunness. Jean R. Bickford. Renshaw. Theodore J. Merr y I. Vincent Wei-Cheng Wang. Vogel. December 2006 Special Report No.Recent Asia Program Publications Special Report No.

130 – One Year After the Tsunami: Policy and Public Perceptions Roberta Cohen.wilsoncenter. The Woodrow Wilson Center Asia Prog ram One Woodrow Wilson Plaza 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue. http://w ww. June 2006 Special Report No.Recent Asia Program Publications Special Report No. May 2006 A copy of any publication can be obtained free of charge by visiting the Asia P rogram online at http://www. Yongming Zhou.org/asia. 131 – China and Democracy: A Contradiction in Terms? Merle Goldman. NW Washington.wilsoncenter. DC 20004-3027 Ph: 202-691-4020 Fax: 202-691-4058 Email: asia@wilsoncenter.org/asia | 179 | . Suisheng Zhao.org. Courtland Robinson. Muhammad Qodari. A more complete list of Asia Program publications may also be found online. Bambang Harymurti. Richard Baum.

org/index. where vital current issues and their historical and cultural background are explored through research and dialogue. go to http://www. business. law. 2009. research desig ned to bridg e the gap between the academic and the policy making worlds. Created by the Cong ress of the United States as the nation’s of ficial memorial to its twentieth-eighth president. D. holds an annual competition for the Wilson Center’s Pakistan Scholar Prog ram. Candidates must be currently pursuing research on key public policy issues facing Pakistan. One Pakistan Scholar..Woodrow Wilson Center Pakistan Scholar Program The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. non-partisan institutes for advanced research. wilsoncenter. either from Pakistan or of Pakistani origin. The Pakistan Scholar competition is open to men and women who are from Pakistan or who are of Pakistani-origin (from any country). For more information on this program. the Center seeks to commemorate through its residential fellowship program both the scholarly depth and the public policy concerns of Woodrow Wi lson. and related professions. “Afg hanistan and Pakistan: Conflict and Resistance to Modernity” | 180 | . is selected each year to spend nine months in residence at the Woodrow Wilson Center. w ide-ranging. where (s)he will carry out advanced. g overnment. Applications will be accepted from individuals in academia. in partnership with the Fellowship Fund for Pakistan.C. journalism. in the heart of Washing ton. policy-oriented research and writing.c fm?topic_id=1462&fuseaction=topics. The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is one of Washing ton’s leading independent. item&news_id=497724 PREVIOUS WILSON CENTER PAKISTAN SCHOLARS Ambass ador Riaz Mohammad K han .

2007-08.Woodrow Wilson Center Pakistan Scholar Program Dr. “9/11 and the Pakistan Economy: A Look at the Impact on the Financial Sector” Dr. 2005-06.. “Improving Aid Effectiveness: A Case Study of the Health and Population Sectors in Pakistan” Khaled Ahmed . 2004-05. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States” Dr. “Mi litary Inc. Ayes ha Siddiqa . Political Economy of Militarization in Pakistan” | 181 | . “Sectarian Violence in Pakistan and Its Linkages to Iran. Samia Altaf . 2006-07. Mushtaq Khan .

wilsoncenter.org/asia .Asia Program Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars One Woodrow Wilson Plaza 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington. DC 20004-3027 www.

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